A little about me - how did I get here?

I grew up in Bristol and went to Bristol Grammar School where a couple of masters (Derek Lucas and Tony Warren) were instrumental in fueling my interest in birds.  I was in the Young Ornithologists' Club.

In the school holidays I practically lived at Chew Valley Lake - a bicycle and a pair of binoculars were all I needed.

My parents liked nice scenery and walks in the countryside and that gave me plenty of opportunities for birding. 

I spent a few years when rare birds were very important to me but aside from the very occasional lapse they aren't any more! 

I did a Ph.D. on pipistrelle bats but most of my research before joining the RSPB was on bee-eaters in the south of France (nice eh?) and great tits and marsh tits around Oxford.  However, the first scientific paper I wote was about the lekking behaviour of great snipe.

I joined the RSPB staff in 1986 as a researcher, became Head of Conservation Science in 1992 and Conservation Director in 1998 - all have been great jobs!