Professor Sir John Lawton CBE FRS
Sir John Lawton has been Patron of the NBN since November 2018.
He is an environmental scientist, educator and science administrator. He was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 2005 until 2011, and formerly Chief Executive of the Natural Environment Research Council (1999-2005), and Director of the Centre for Population Biology at Imperial College (1989-1999). He trained as a zoologist at the University of Durham, and subsequently held posts at Oxford and York Universities. His scientific interests have focussed on the population dynamics and biodiversity of birds and insects, with emphasis over the last three decades on the impacts of global environmental change. He was chair of the Making Space for Nature report to Defra (2010) that led to the establishment of Nature Improvement Areas in England.
John is a Past President of the British Ecological Society, a former Chairman of RSPB Council (and currently a Vice-president of RSPB), and currently President (and formerly Chairman) of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust; he is also currently Chairman of the York Museums Trust. He was elected FRS in 1989, awarded a CBE in 1997 and knighted in 2005 for his contributions to ecological science. He has been awarded numerous other national and international prizes, including the Japan Prize 2004, and was elected as a Foreign Member of both the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2008.
John has been an obsessive birder since he was a child, and also enjoys botanising and bug-hunting. He is a keen walker, gardener and cook. He is married to Dot, with two grown up children and five grandchildren.