Elliot Morley was born in Liverpool and became interested in nature conservation as a member of the Merseyside Naturalists Association and the Merseyside Ringing Group. He was elected MP for Glanford and Scunthorpe in 1987 and served as a shadow minister from 1989 to 1997. He was Parliamentary Secretary in MAFF from 1997 to 2003, responsible for animal welfare, water policy, flood defence, forestry, fisheries and agri-environment, Minister for Water, Nature Conservation, and Waste Management in DEFRA till 2006, and later Minister for Environment and Climate Change. He chaired the Parliamentary Select Committee for Energy and Climate Change from 2007–2010, was president of GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) from 2007–2009, served as vice president of the BTO, and was on the council of the RSPB and honorary vice president of the RSPCA. Married with two children, his interests include birding, natural history, nature photography, scuba diving, and travel.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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”.
Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. The Fish Ladder – which combines travelogue, memoir and landscapism – is her first book. She was chosen as The Observer’s Rising Star in non-fiction for 2015 and The Fish Ladder was a book of the year in The Guardian, The Independent and the Telegraph as well as being longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, 2015. It has been longlisted for the Wainwright Prize, 2016, for nature and UK travel writing, and nominated as one of National Reading Group Day 2016’s real life reads. She lives in London with her family.Read More
Matthew Oates has worked for the National Trust in various incarnations for 24 years, originally by providing practical habitat management advice but recently by developing the Trust’s wildlife and nature media work and by helping the Trust’s efforts to facilitate people’s relationships with Nature. A deep lover of butterflies, with some incipient knowledge, he is also interested in some other invertebrate groups, though unable to take specimens / kill anything. Formerly, he helped to develop nature conservation grazing. A poet, author, broadcaster and follower of the poetic approach to Nature, his life’s work concerns unravelling the mysteries of the Purple Emperor and reinstating the capital N in Nature.Read More
Bill Oddie is Britain’s best-known birder, and one of the most longstanding and familiar faces of wildlife television. After finding fame as one of the 1970s comedy trio The Goodies, Bill tuned his lifelong passion for birds into a second career, travelling throughout Britain and the world with series such as Birding with Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie Goes Wild and of course Springwatch, all presented in his inimitable, ‘organic freeform’ style. In recent years he has become a major figurehead for conservation at home and abroad, joining various causes including the anti badger culling campaign.Read More
Stephanie O’Donnell is the Community Manager of WILDLABS.NET, launched by United for Wildlife, with support from Google.org and ARM, to close the information-sharing gap in the fight against illegal wildlife trade and other pressing issues facing our planet. She guides the community’s development so that it contributes tangible value to the UfW objective of democratising access to the right information, tools and resources, and fulfils the WILDLABS.NET aims of connecting conservationists, technologists, engineers, data scientists and entrepreneurs and supporting them to find, share and create effective technology-based solutions to protect threatened wildlife and habitats.Read More
Alice Owen is an environment professional with 12 years’ experience in protected area management and wildlife conservation in East Africa. She has practical experience in the challenges of wildlife management, including conservation of biodiversity hotspots in areas of rural poverty. She is now a UK resident and is currently undertaking a Master’s degree course in Wildlife Filmmaking, with the intention of pursuing a career linked to wildlife conservation and public communication. In the UK, she has previously held a position as an Operations Assistant at the Soil Association. She has also volunteered with the Somerset Wildlife Trust and with an independent microbiology lab.Read More
Chris Packham sprang to fame almost 30 years ago as the spiky haired presenter (along with Terry Nutkins, Michaela Strachan and later Nick Baker) of The Really Wild Show. After a period ‘in the wilderness’ away from our TV screens he came back with a vengeance as the uber-geek frontman of Springwatch and Autumnwatch, where he shows off his extensive and often quirky knowledge of British wildlife and 1980s alternative music. Chris is also a keen and highly accomplished photographer and author.Read More
Ruth Padel’s collections include Darwin – A Life in Poems and The Mara Crossing, a meditation on migration. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of the Zoological Society of London. Awards include First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and a British Council Darwin Now research award. She teaches poetry at King’s College London.
Debbie Pain is Director of Conservation at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. She began her career as an environmental chemist and then moved on to do a DPhil on lead poisoning in birds at Oxford University. She subsequently worked for four years in the Camargue, France, on ecotoxicology and behavioural ecology projects. She then joined the RSPB and was its first Head of International Research, investigating the causes of and solutions to the declines of some of the world’s most endangered birds, including Gyps vultures in Asia. Debbie has published numerous scientific papers on topics including protected area prioritisation, climate change, agricultural policy, ecotoxicology and species conservation. She has co-authored/edited three books, the most recent of which is Facing Extinction: The world’s rarest birds and the race to save them.Read More
Laurie Parma holds a BS in Biology and a Masters in Neuroscience from the University of Bordeaux. Her interests lie in modern studies of human happiness, and she is currently leading one of the largest studies undertaken into the psychological and physical well-being effects of yoga. A second project, co-led with the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, investigates the relationships between well-being and biodiversity. The project team has developed a new smartphone app to capture the relationship between human wellbeing and the environment they are in moment by moment.Read More
Edward Parnell lives in Norfolk and has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. He is the recipient of an Escalator Award from Writers’ Centre Norwich, and in 2009 received a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship. Edward has previously worked for BirdLife International and the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and has written numerous natural history and conservation-related articles for magazines and newspapers; he has also worked extensively in television and media production. Currently, he is a freelance editor and copywriter, and is also one of the Co-Directors of the Wymondham Words literature festival. His first novel, The Listeners, was the winner of the 2014 Rethink New Novels Prize. He is currently working on his second novel.Read More