Committee role: Ordinary Member
I have had a lifelong love for all things bird-related, and feel extremely fortunate to have been working in the ornithology sector for over a decade. After graduating from Glasgow University with an Msci. in zoology, I completed a PhD with the University of Aberdeen Lighthouse Field Station, working on northern fulmar foraging in the non-breeding period. After a few more fieldwork jobs across various parts of the world, I then worked for British Antarctic Survey living on Bird Island for 2 ½ years as the albatross zoologist.
I have always been drawn to marine policy work and so jumped at the chance to work as an ornithologist for NatureScot on my return to Scotland. The job combines providing policy advice on birds at both a protected site level, as well as at a wider strategic policy level. In addition, the work involves commissioning research work, providing advice on marine developments, and being involved in delivery of the Programme for Government. I also have a particular interest in how marine litter affects seabirds, especially through my previous work on albatross, as well as on fulmars as part of Wageningen Marine Research’s Europe-wide research group.
Through the BES I took part in a work shadowing experience at Scottish Parliament in 2019 which was an amazing opportunity to see how the scientific and policy recommendations in my job with NatureScot are influenced, but also used in parliament, and how this is done so in relation to the needs of other stakeholders. I’m absolutely delighted to be joining the SPG as a Committee Member. I’m excited to join a group of likeminded individuals who have the same passion and enthusiasm about policy and science, and the interface between the two.