Paul Morton is a naturalist, project manager of publishing company the Sound Approach and founder of the Birds of Poole Harbour education charity. His passion and belief in communicating with people about nature is what led him to set up a whole new charity about his ‘local patch’, Poole Harbour. Over the last 15 years Paul has built up a detailed understanding of this unique RAMSAR site in southern England and in 2010 made it his mission to interpret his knowledge to the many thousands of visitors that visited Arne RSPB reserve where he was appointed to work. The Sound Approach were recently catapulted on to the global stage when their team discovered a brand new species of Owl to science out in Oman, which they named the Omani Owl.
Stephen Moss is a naturalist, television producer, writer and broadcaster specialising in British wildlife. In a 30 year career at the BBC, much of it based at the Natural History Unit in Bristol, he has been responsible for many successful series, including Birding with Bill Oddie, Big Cat Diary, The Nature of Britain, Springwatch, Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival and Birds …
Hannah Mumby is an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Sheffield, and the recipient of a Drapers’ Company Junior Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge and a Branco Weiss Society in Science Fellowship. She has travelled across Africa and Asia studying pubertal children, monkeys and most recently, Asian elephants. Her aim is to find out how living for a long time, being very social and having relatively few offspring makes evolutionary sense for these animals. And beyond that, whether we can challenge our perception of human uniqueness by testing whether humans really stand out from other long-lived species. Hannah has a passion for public communication of science and has given school talks, interviews and public seminars in everywhere from a hotel in northern Thailand to a student radio station in Bangalore, India. You can also spot her getting excited about weighing elephants in the documentary “Of Oozies and Elephants” and follow her research on Twitter @Myanmarelephant.
Donald S. Murray comes from Ness in Lewis but now lives in Shetland. A poet, author, teacher for nearly 30 years and an occasional journalist, Donald’s books range in tone and content from The Guga Hunters and And On This Rock: Italian Chapel, Orkney (Birlinn) to Small Expectations (Two Ravens Press) and Weaving Songs (Acair) which was inspired by his father’s work as a weaver in the Harris Tweed Industry. Widely praised and published, he has been awarded the Jessie Kesson Writing Fellowship and the Robert Louis Stevenson Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Saltire and Callum Macdonald Award. His latest book is The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies From St Kilda(Luath Press, 2013). As a fully qualified teacher, he has given many talks in primary schools, secondary schools and to adult audiences at book festivals and elsewhere. His venues include the University of Reykjavik, the Nordic Centre in Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, the Edinburgh Festival, Blasket Visitor Centre in County Kerry, Ireland and many places in between.
Jeremy Mynott spent most of his professional career in publishing at Cambridge University Press, working successively as editor, editorial director, managing director and chief executive. Jeremy has explored the variety of human responses to birds in Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience (2009), a book described by reviewers as ‘the finest book ever written about why we watch birds’ (Guardian) and ‘ a wonderful rumination on birds and birders through space and time for anyone interested in our relationship with nature’ (THES). In 2016 he published Knowing your Place, an account of the wildlife in the tiny Suffolk hamlet of Shingle Street; and his most recent book is a cultural history of Birds in the Ancient World: Winged Words (2018). He is an Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, a regular reviewer for the TLS and a founder member of New Networks for Nature.
Stuart Newson is a Senior Research Ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), where he is mainly involved in survey design and analyses of data from large national ‘Citizen Science’ surveys. Whilst the core of his work has been on birds, he has a personal interest in bats and acoustic monitoring, and in particular how technology can deliver new opportunities for conservation, and provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. Stuart set up the Norfolk Bat Survey in 2013, a novel citizen science approach for enabling unprecedented large-scale bat recording using static acoustic detectors, an approach which has since been extended to a much larger area of southern Scotland, with plans now to develop this idea more widely.
Ian Newton has enjoyed lifetime interests in both farming and birds. As a child, he spent much of his time on farms, and later in life in his ‘spare time’ he managed a small commercial fruit farm producing apples and pears. Now retired, he worked throughout his career as a population ecologist, having done detailed research on finches, waterfowl and raptors. For many years he was based at Monks Wood Research Station near Huntingdon, in charge of work on pesticide impacts on wildlife. He is a past President of the British Ecological Society and the British Ornithologists’ Union, a past Chairman of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology. He has authored around 300 papers in the scientific literature, and several books, including Finches, Bird Populations and the recent Farming and Birds, all in the New Naturalist Series.
Derek Niemann has spent 28 years as a volunteer and professional communicator in nature conservation, making up for a lost childhood in which he was “an enthusiastic, untutored and inept naturalist”. In November 2014 he leaves the RSPB to become a freelance writer and editor, after spending 16 years as editor of the RSPB’s youth magazines. He has been a fortnightly Country Diarist for the Guardian since 2005 and is also a regular contributor to BBC Wildlife. He has written a number of wildlife books for children, as well as Birds in a Cage, the true story of POW birdwatchers. Derek lives in a county that its own council used to undersell spectacularly on road signs that proclaimed: “Welcome to Bedfordshire – central to the Oxford–Cambridge Arc”.