Board of Trustees
All our board members are senior managers and experts in their field whether this is information management, business development or biological recording. For a more detailed look into who is on our board we have provided a short biography describing who they are and what they bring to the board.
The Board of Trustees for the National Biodiversity Network Trust are elected by the membership on an annual basis. The board members as of March 2012 are:
PROFESSOR MICHAEL HASSELL CBE FRS
Day job: Honorary Principal Research Fellow at Imperial College, London
Chair since 1st March 2012
Michael's background is in population biology with a special interest in the dynamics of insect populations. This was kindled by three inspirational George’s: George Salt as his undergraduate tutor at Cambridge and then by George Varley and George Gradwell, his DPhil supervisors at Oxford. After a year at the University of California, Berkeley and then a NERC Fellowship back at Oxford, he went as a Lecturer to Imperial College, based at their Silwood Park Field Station outside Ascot. And there, contrary to his early expectations, he stayed, working up the ranks until retiring in 2007. Apart from research success, it was (more latterly) a time of learning how to run departments and faculties (and not letting meetings run over time!). Outside Imperial College, it was most rewarding for Michael to be President of the British Ecological Society, on the Councils of NERC, The Zoological Society of London and the Royal Society, and spending several years as a Trustee of the Natural History Museum.
Now that he has ‘retired’, his time will be spent between the NBN, being Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, that appears twice a month and some other tasks such as work for the European Research Council. Happily, this still leaves good time for he and his wife, and their dogs to revel in the beautiful countryside of North Devon.
Day job: Sheffield University
Trustee since December 2012
Julia Blanchard is a Lecturer in Ecology at the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College London.
Julia is currently an ordinary member of council and trustee of the British Ecological Society (2011-2014), sitting on the Meetings and the Public & Policy Committees as well as being involved in the Macroecology and Aquatic Ecology Special Interest Groups.
She was the co-initiator and coordinator of the international research network SIZEMIC “Body Size and Ecosystem Dynamics: Integrating pure and applied approaches from terrestrial and aquatic ecology to support an ecosystems approach”, is a member of International Council for the Exploration of the Seas working groups, has lead research on European Union and UK Defra projects.
Julia was a Research Fellow in the Division of Biology at Imperial College London previous to her current post and has strong links with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science CEFAS, Lowestoft, UK where she was a Senior Research Scientist and where she began her research on marine ecosystem dynamics and fisheries in 2001.
She gained a PhD in theoretical ecology from the University of York and has an empirical background in marine biology obtained "across the pond" during her undergraduate Honours and Masters experience from Dalhousie University and the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax, Canada.
As a quantitative marine ecologist her work relies heavily on biodiversity datasets, particularly for developing and testing models and indicators of ecosystem status and change in response to human and environmental induced pressures.
Most of her work has been carried out in seas surrounding the UK although more recently she's been tackling global scale questions, enabling her to travel further afield, for example to New Zealand where this photo was taken...
Day job: British Trust for Ornithology Director
Trustee since November 2012
I was educated at the University of Wales, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree (1976) and PhD in Zoology (1980) before lecturing in Zoology and researching birdsong at the University of Sussex.
I joined the Nature Conservancy Council in 1982, and my 24 years with the Government nature conservation agency included field-work on upland birds, Communications and European work and securing Lottery funds for local community areas for wildlife. After species work was seconded to the Department of the Environment, I returned to English Nature as Director of Protected Areas with overall responsibility for nationally and internationally important wildlife sites. I also led the successful defence of Dibden Bay at Public Enquiry.
After assisting the setting up in early 2006 of Natural England, as Director of Science, Evidence & Policy, I undertook freelance strategic environmental consultancy before coming to the BTO as Director in August 2007. My work at BTO has included leadership of the BTO Strategy 2009-2014, representing BTO in Government and ensuring our strong profile alongside other Third Sector wildlife organisations. I play an active role in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative www.conservation.cam.ac.uk, helping to link BTO scientific research with policy.
DR MARK DIAMOND PHD (ZOOLOGY), MBA
Day job: Technical Manager (Conservation and Ecology), Environment Agency
Trustee since July 2004
Mark spent two years as a lecturer in ecology, one year as an ecologist at Risley Moss Cheshire followed by 19 years in the Environment Agency and its predecessors (NRA and North West Water Authority).
He lead the technical and scientific development of methods to support conservation and ecology for the Agency. This includes the planning of data acquisition and IS support for conservation. He also plays a leading role in the development of Marine and Coastal Policy. He manages a team of 18 scientists and technical staff.
DR MICHAEL DOBSON
Day job: Director of the Freshwater Biological Association
Trustee since November 2011
Mike Dobson worked for many years as a river ecologist, with particular interest in upland stream dynamics and in ecology and management of tropical fresh waters. In his current role, he is responsible for running the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA), a charitable organisation that carries out research into freshwater ecology and conservation and which provides services (publications, training courses, meetings, etc.) for professional and amateur biologists worldwide. The FBA is also active in management and archiving of data and information, both physical (via its world-renowned library) and electronic.
Mike's personal interest in freshwater invertebrates manifests itself professionally in developing training and tools to assist in identification of freshwater fauna. He has co-authored several textbooks on aquatic ecology and two introductory keys to identification of freshwater invertebrates. He is a member of the Board of the Riverfly Partnership, which encourages volunteer involvement in environmental monitoring, and chairs the Lake District Still Waters Partnership, whose remit is to promote the sustainable management of lakes in the region. He is a fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management.
DR RODDY FAIRLEY
Day job: Biodiversity Programme Manager and The Sea Programme Manager: Scottish Natural Heritage
Trustee since February 2012
Roddy has a long history of working for Scottish Natural Heritage. Between 2007 and 2009 he was acting Director of Operations for South Scotland following 10 years in Area Management, first in Argyll and Stirling (where key motivations were the establishment of Scotland's first National Park (Loch Lomond and The Trossachs), and the conservation of Greenland White Fronted and Barnacle Geese and of Chough) and then Strathclyde and Ayrshire (where abiding interests were the pursuit of strategies for green-space and green infrastructure across Central Scotland and, in addition, the continuing problems of hen harrier conservation. This followed several years in charge of corporate planning and organisational development. Before joining SNH in 1992, he was in charge of policy development in the Countryside Commission for Scotland, and before that he worked for the Nature Conservancy Council on a variety of surveys and aspects of nature reserve management.
Between 1998 and 2008 he was a Director of, and for much of that time, chaired, Reforesting Scotland, the principal NGO in Scotland for ecological restoration and social forestry. Between 2007 and 2009 he was a Director of Paths for All, and sat on Scotland's National Access Forum. Between 2003 and 2011 he was a Director of the Central Scotland Forest Trust and since 2005 has been a Director of the Cairnhead Community Forest Trust which he now chairs. He is a member of the Forestry Commission's South Scotland Regional Forestry Forum.
After graduating in ecology from the University of Edinburgh his studies of the belowground ecosystem, fine root and mycorrhizal dynamics led to the award of a PhD from Aberdeen University.
He lives in rural south west Scotland with his wife and children where he sings in choirs, cooks for the family, writes poetry, keeps bees and walks the hills.
Day job: Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre Manager, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust
Trustee since March 2013
Teresa got a taste for working with biodiversity data from her fourth year project for her mathematics degree at Aberystwyth University, analysing counts from the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. She followed a Masters in Mathematics in the Living Environment at York University with a PhD in Statistics at the University of Kent, supported by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, on population indices for overwintering wildfowl.
Her enthusiasm for the importance and value of ecological data and evidence in decision-making (plus a love of maps) expanded her attention from the challenges of monitoring species populations to recording their distributions. She has five years experience working in Local Records Centres, first as Data Manager at Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre and then as Manager establishing Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre in the opposite corner of England. Based at Tullie House Museum, she has the added opportunity to appreciate first-hand the vital support county museum natural history departments give to recorders.
Teresa has been a Director of the Association of Local Environmental Records Centres for three years and is delighted with the continued development of the UK LRC network as regional nodes of the NBN. Recently elected to the Council of Carlisle Natural History Society, she is continually astonished by the expertise and dedication of the naturalist community and the voluntary recording and monitoring work they do.
Teresa lives just over the Scottish border and enjoys choral singing and roaming the countryside armed with a GPS, looking for geocaches with her husband and the dog.
MR PAUL HARDING MBE
Day job: Retired
Trustee since November 2008
Paul has been a key figure in the widespread development of biodiversity recording in the UK and Europe, following on the first UK Botanical Atlas, and his enthusiasm, insight and advice have played a significant part in ensuring that biological recording in the UK is seen to be amongst the best in the world. At the same time he is an acknowledged expert on the taxonomy, ecology and distribution of the Isopoda and other invertebrate groups. In all he has published alone or jointly some 63 papers, chapters or Reports, on surveys, distribution or biogeography, been a coauthor of 9 Distribution atlases and associated, with virtually all those published during his time at Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.
In view of his unique contributions to the development of biodiversity recording in the UK and his continuous promotion of cooperative recording activities that culminated in the impetus to develop a national biodiversity network, the NBN Trustees unanimously recommended that Paul be appointed an Honorary Member of the National Biodiversity Network Trust in 2005.
MR HUGH LUCAS
Day job: Aggregate Industries
Trustee since July 2009
Hugh is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Member of the Institute of Quarrying and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Hugh has worked in surveying and planning roles in various organisations and is now Head of Planning and Estates at Aggregate Industries, where he has worked since 2007.
PROFESSOR IAN OWENS
Day job: Director of Science, Natural History Museum
Trustee since December 2011
Professor Ian Owens is Director of Science at the Natural History Museum, where he has been since June 2011. He joined the Museum from Imperial College London, where he was Head of the Department of Life Sciences.
He has previously worked at the Institute of Zoology, London and at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has had extensive involvement with learned societies, governmental and non-governmental agencies.
He is both an honorary research fellow of the Zoological Society of London and sits on the Natural Environment Research Council’s Post-Genomics and Proteomics steering committee, where he recommends how funds should be awarded.
As Director of Science, Professor Owens oversees the work of over 300 scientists and 150 post graduate students who are based at the Museum. He sets the strategic direction of the Museum’s scientific activities. This includes ensuring that the Museum meets its national and international responsibilities and the wider needs of society.
Professor Owens is also responsible for the Museum’s vast scientific collections. Containing over 70 million scientific specimens from all parts of the world, they are an important resource used by scientific researchers worldwide.
MR MARTIN PARKINSON
Day job: Director of Planning and Resources, Countryside Council for Wales
Trustee since November 2010
Martin is Director of Planning and Resources at CCW, where he has worked for the last 20 years.
During his time with CCW, he has worked in both Regional and HQ roles and has worked with a broad range of partner organisations from within Government, Academia and the Third Sector. He has worked in a number of strategic and technical roles in HR, Corporate Planning and Knowledge and Information Management.
Over the last six years, he has worked closely with the Welsh Government, NBN, Local Record Centres and other data providers and users to develop a more strategic approach within Wales. He is currently chair of the Wales Environmental Information Steering Group.
Martin lives in North Wales and is married with two children. Interests include sports, writing and music.
DR RICHARD PYWELL
Day job: Head of Ecological Processes and Modelling Section, CEH Wallingford
Trustee since December 2012
Information coming soon
PROFESSOR PHILIP RAINBOW
Day job: Marine Biological Association
Trustee since February 2008
Phil Rainbow is Keeper of Zoology at the Natural History Museum, with research interests in the marine biology of trace metals and marine invertebrate biology.
Phil graduated (Zoology) from the University of Cambridge in 1972, and completed a PhD (1975) on the biology of barnacles at UCNW Bangor. He was appointed to a lectureship in marine biology at Queen Mary College, University of London, with subsequent appointment to Reader and a personal chair in the University of London (1994), after the award of DSc from the University of Wales. In 1995 Phil became the Head of School of Biological Sciences at Queen Mary, followed in 1997 by his appointment as Keeper of Zoology at the NHM.
Although Phil has never lost his primary interest in the biology of barnacles, much of his active research addresses the question "What is the significance of accumulated trace metal concentrations in an organism?" This has led to an appreciation of the roles of essential metal requirements, physiological accumulation strategies, uptake mechanisms, trophic transfer and biochemical detoxification systems in determining accumulated body concentrations, under particular environmental conditions from estuaries and coastal waters to deep oceans. His wide experience of tropical coastal biology is allowing application of techniques of biomonitoring, well tried in temperate coastal waters, to the rapidly expanding metal pollution problems of developing countries.
Day job: Director of Science at Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Trustee since 8th July 2010
After a first degree in Zoology Paul went on to research the feeding ecology of wild rats, the behavioural ecology of the corncrake (Crex crex) and the quantification of overhead cable collisions as a factor in avian mortality. While undertaking this research he also lectured, part-time, on Experimental Design and Statistics. However, for the last 25 years he has pursued a career in conservation, first with Wetlands International where he was responsible for automating the collection and analysis of data from the international waterfowl census, extending the scope of the census from European to global and establishing processes for the routine use of the census in conservation decisions. Examples of this include setting the 1% thresholds for use in identifying wetlands of international importance and providing the evidence base for establishment and implementation of the African Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement of the Bonn Convention. Since 1998, he has worked for the Joint Nature Conservation Committee where he is currently Director of Science. Underlying his entire career, there has been a common theme of trying to improve the value and use of science and data to conservation decision taking, and looking for innovative solutions to conservation issues.
Much of this work has been international, dealing with European policies, The Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity but it has also included prominent roles in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, UK biodiversity reporting and indicators, and establishing effective interfaces between science and policy such as the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the Rural Economy and Land Use research programme (RELU). All of this started from a childhood interest in biological recording of birds, vascular plants, moths and fungi so it is a great pleasure for Paul to now be involved in getting back to his routes and helping NBN to feed the efforts of so many biological recorders into conservation action and decision making.
Day job: Executive Director, Operations, Natural England
Trustee since July 2007
Over the past couple of years, Andrew has worked for Natural England, most recently as Executive Director for Operations, and previously as the Director for Landscape Access and Recreation. Prior to this he principally managed elements of the Countryside Agency’s change programme in relation to the Modernising Rural Delivery Programme. Throughout his career, Andrew has held a variety of policy development and implementation roles. In particular, he was responsible for the childcare policy in Wales for three years and was responsible for the Local Government reorganisation in Wales in the mid-1990s. Prior to joining Natural England, he worked with the Audit Commission; his last role there was Director of Policy.