Global Science Team
Dr Stuart Butchart
Stu leads BirdLife’s Science Division, providing strategic oversight for the team’s work to develop and manage BirdLife’s global scientific datasets and undertake research to underpin BirdLife’s Conservation Programmes. He has worked on assessing the extinction risk of the world’s birds for the IUCN Red List, launching BirdLife’s Preventing Extinctions Programme, developing biodiversity indicators (including the Red List Index), establishing the KBA Partnership and was a Coordinating Lead Author for the IPBES Global Assessment. He has published widely on the state of the world’s birds, the threats to them, the solutions required, and the impact of conservation.
Dr Ian Burfield
Global Science Coordinator (Species)
Benjamin Olewine Fellow
Ian provides scientific input on species to BirdLife’s conservation programmes, especially the Preventing Extinctions Programme, to help inform action and underpin BirdLife’s policy, advocacy and communications. As coordinator of the Red List Authority for birds, he oversees BirdLife’s ongoing work to reassess and document the extinction risk of the world’s 11,000 species. He also supervises the development and promotion of BirdLife’s scientific journal, Bird Conservation International. Ian joined the Global Science Team in 2013 after a decade with BirdLife Europe, where he assessed species’ regional conservation status, validated proposed Important Bird Areas, developed indicators and reporting frameworks, and promoted monitoring.
Dr Paul Donald
Paul is Senior Scientist in the BirdLife research team, working part-time on a wide range of issues from the trade in wild birds and the impacts of agriculture on avian populations to global bird taxonomy and the impacts of protected areas. Before joining BirdLife he worked for over 20 years at RSPB in the International Research Team. He has written over 150 scientific papers and other articles, is a recipient of the ZSL/Marsh Award for Conservation Science and is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Cambridge.
Dr Nigel Collar
Leventis Fellow in Conservation Biology
Nigel Collar has worked for BirdLife for 42 years, first in the role of compiler of the International Bird Red Data Book (1981‒2001) and subsequently as Leventis Fellow in Conservation Biology. In the latter capacity he has co-supervised 20+ PhDs on threatened birds and helps with the maintenance of BirdLife’s taxonomic list. He co-chairs the IUCN Bustard Specialist Group.
Senior Red List Officer
Rob is BirdLife’s Senior Red List Officer, responsible for the submission to IUCN of global Red List Assessments for all bird species that are produced by our Red List Team. He is a member of the Red List Technical Working Group, tasked with ensuring consistency and developing improvements to technical aspects of the IUCN Red List. Rob is also the Red List lead for African birds. He has co-authored Red List related research papers including on bird generation lengths, determining extinction thresholds and threats to seabirds, as well as publishing his fieldwork on a set of Critically Endangered island birds.
Dr Claudia Hermes
Red List Officer
As part of the Red List Team, Claudia evaluates the status and extinction risk of birds for the IUCN Red List, with a focus on species in the Americas. She manages the Globally Threatened Bird Forums and is a certified Red List Trainer. As well as her work on the Red List, she also carries out bird assessments for the recently developed Green Status of Species, which quantifies conservation impact and recovery potential of species. Claudia has a background in Animal Ecology and Evolution. Her PhD investigated the effect of climate and land-use change on threatened birds in the Ecuadorian Andes.
Red List Officer
Alex joined BirdLife’s Science Team in 2021, where he now leads on IUCN Red List assessments of species in Asia and the Pacific. He also sits on the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group and is a member of the IUCN SSC Asian Songbird Trade Specialist Group. Outside of his core role, Alex maintains several research interests in South-East Asia and Australasia, with special foci on avian geographic variation, threatened species and their extinction risk, and poorly known species and regions, with frequent trips (especially to Wallacea and Indochina) to the region to help address many of these shortfalls.
Red List Assessor
Claire is part of the global Red List team, with, currently, a particular focus on the reassessment of African bird species. She also participates in the assessment and continent-scale data analysis of European species, as well as assisting in the compilation and delivery of data requests and partner queries relating to Red Listing in the region. Formerly an RSPB and LPO volunteer, Claire started off her career as an ecological consultant, with an interest and experience in surveying other animal and plant taxa as well as birds, and still occasionally volunteers for the BTO.
Red List Assessor
Jemma joined BirdLife as a Red List Assistant in 2022 having already volunteered with the Red List Team for six months. Now a Red List Assessor, her principal role sees her complete IUCN Red List assessments for the Pacific region, including the compilation of published and unpublished data from BirdLife Partners and the wider scientific community, as well as editing range maps.
Global Sites Conservation Coordinator
Zoltan has been working in international conservation for 30 years, mostly on IBAs, KBAs and protected areas but also on species, migratory birds and forests. He has also worked in international advocacy in the European Union and with global treaties. More recently, he has been actively involved in launching the KBA Partnership and Program and helped apply the KBA Standard around the world..
Dr Olivia Crowe
Global Science Coordinator (IBAs/KBAs)
Olivia coordinates BirdLife’s global science work on Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). She supports the BirdLife Partnership to apply scientific standards (IBA Criteria and KBA Standard) to the identification, delineation and documentation of important sites. She leads the development of technical aspects of IBA and KBA monitoring, and co-chairs the KBA Technical Working Group contributing to technical documents, processes and bodies under the KBA Programme. She also currently oversees the development of the World Database of KBAs.
IBA/KBA Technical Officer
Having joined BirdLife straight from University, Tom’s primary role is to support IBA/KBA science work in several ways. Through the Regional Coordinators, Tom works closely with BirdLife partners to maintain and update both their spatial and tabular IBA datasets and is also involved in the upkeep of BirdLife’s internal sites datasets. Tom also supports the wider Science team, leading on various analyses to update KBA and Red List Indices for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Flyways programme and other policy processes.
Dr Tammy Davies
Marine Science Coordinator
Tammy oversees the scientific work underpinning BirdLife’s Marine Programme, including that relating to marine IBAs and KBAs, and threats to seabirds. She has experience in evaluating marine protected area effectiveness and informing marine spatial planning and has been leading BirdLife’s science work on the high seas, including supporting the designation of the NACES MPA. Tammy leads collaborations with other organisations to increase the reach of the Marine Programme, and is also part of the Blue Parks science council and Global Ocean Observing System Biology and Ecosystems Panel.
Dr Ana Carneiro
Marine Science Manager
Ana’s research focuses on finding solutions to improve the conservation of seabirds, for example using area-based management initiatives such as marine protected areas, and helping to tackle the problem of seabird bycatch. As part of the BirdLife Marine Programme, she currently leads the scientific work underpinning efforts to reduce bycatch. This work includes the identification of species, areas and periods of highest susceptibility to bycatch, and the development of methodologies and guidelines to improve compliance.
Dr Jonathan Handley
Senior Marine IBA/KBA Officer
Dr Jonathan Handley is the lead scientist for BirdLife International’s marine site-based work, under the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) programmes. In this role, he collaborates with BirdLife partners and teams around the world to identify these sites and provide guidance to governments, businesses, and the scientific community on how to conserve species and sustainably manage resources at sites. His expertise lies in studying how animals interact with each other and their physical environment. To learn more about his research, see his Research Gate profile.
Dr Bethany Clark
Seabird Science Officer
Bethany manages the Seabird Tracking Database and analyses data for seabird conservation. Her work focusses on assessing threats to seabird populations, such as fisheries, plastics, invasive species, and climate change. Most of her projects involve mapping seabird distributions and behaviour from tracking data and other information, including developing analytic methods using R code. She also works with Global Fishing Watch data alongside bird-borne video cameras and GPS devices to better understand seabird-fishery interactions.
Dr Joanne Morten
Marine Science Officer
Joanne is a seabird ecologist who specialises in using tracking data to understand behaviour and identify potential conservation threats. She joined BirdLife in 2022 after completing her doctorate on the foraging and migratory behaviours of arctic terns and Eurasian oystercatchers at the University of Exeter. Within the Marine Team, Joanne is identifying marine flyways across the world using seabird tracking data.
Dr Stefano Barchiesi
Ecosystem Services Officer
Stefano is the focal point for BirdLife International’s science work related to ecosystem services, including the development of new modules for the TESSA toolkit. He also provides technical support and capacity building on this work area for BirdLife Partners. Stefano has a PhD from the University of Florida for which he studied the trade-offs in ecosystem services at a Ramsar Site in north-west Costa Rica. Prior to that, he worked for ten years with the IUCN Global Water Programme in Switzerland on several projects on the different elements of nature-based solutions for sustainable water resources management.
Dr George Hoppit
Science Officer (Ecosystem Services)
George works in ecosystem services, helping support policy and decision makers better understand how nature contributes to our lives. Currently he contributes to the TESSA toolkit, supporting a project on how vegetation removes air pollution. Previously he completed a PhD at the University of Bristol exploring climate change impacts in marine ecosystems and how protected areas can be modified to support climate change adaptation.
Dr Vicky Jones
Flyways Science Coordinator
Vicky leads the scientific and technical work underpinning the global Flyways Programme and works to ensure conservation priorities for migratory species are understood and reflected in the work of BirdLife and others and recognised by governments through Multilateral Environmental Agreements such as CMS, AEWA, Raptors MOU, AEMLAP, Ramsar. Her work relates to conservation of migratory species, site networks, understanding threats, developing tools to support improved understanding and action to benefit migratory species and advocacy within relevant MEAs. Vicky works closely with CMS and represents BirdLife in the CMS Raptors MOU Technical Advisory Group and the Saker Falcon Task Force.
Birds and energy
Senior Conservation Scientist
Tris joined BirdLife in 2008. He coordinates the State of the World’s Birds project through which BirdLife communicates its science to decision-makers and conservation practitioners. Tris also oversees BirdLife’s work on the impacts of energy infrastructure on birds, particularly the development of spatial planning tools to facilitate bird-safe energy expansion (avistep.birdlife.org). Tris works closely with governments, financial institutions and the energy sector to ensure that biodiversity is effectively considered at all stages of energy development. He chairs the Technical Working Group of the Convention of Migratory Species’ Energy Task Force and is a founding member of the Coalition Linking Energy and Nature for action (CLEANaction).
Dr Larissa Biasotto
Science Officer (Birds & Energy)
Larissa’s research focuses on finding solutions to improve the conservation of birds in the presence of energy infrastructure. Throughout her career she has developed spatially explicit approaches to assess avian sensitivity and to mitigate the impact of renewable energy on biodiversity, following the Mitigation Hierarchy guidelines. She also provides expert knowledge to identify suitable mitigation against power line collisions and electrocutions to focal groups. As part of the AVISTEP team, she is developing spatial planning tools to facilitate bird-safe energy expansion.
State of the World’s Birds
Lucy’s work focuses on synthesising and communicating BirdLife’s scientific information to a diverse range of audiences, such as decision-makers and conservation practitioners. She leads delivery of the State of the World’s Birds project, including development of the periodic flagship State of the World’s Birds report and management of content on the BirdLife Data Zone. She also provides technical expertise in support of the wider work of the Science Division, including the assessment of species for the IUCN Red List.
Biodiversity Data Management
Senior Biodiversity Data Manager
Gill coordinates a team of data management and GIS specialists who manage and maintain BirdLife’s core conservation datasets: the bird species range maps and sites data on both IBAs and KBAs. They ensure that data generated by partners and collaborators is correctly reflected in the organisation’s data storage systems and ensure the BirdLife Datazone, KBA website and IBAT is regularly updated to reflect the latest information. The team works to provide bespoke data and spatial analyses for a range of projects and publications and seeks to improve the visibility and accessibility of BirdLife data to a range of audiences.
Biodiversity Data Technical Officer
Angela supports the management of BirdLife’s spatial and tabular datasets on important areas for conservation, undertaking data manipulation and analysis to support decision-making and identification of Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) and Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). She also performs data visualizations for high-level summaries and provides data and information services to end users.
Science Division Administrator
Sue joined BirdLife in 2006, working as PA to the Director of Science, Policy and Information, previously at BirdLife’s office in Girton, Cambridgeshire. Following an organisational restructure, she now provides admin support to the Chief Scientist and other members of the Science Division.