Better Biodiversity Data project – Scotland Programme Manager


Role at the NBN Trust

  • Lead the delivery of the BBD project
  • Manage the project team
  • Oversee the development of the NBN Trust’s work across Scotland

About Michael

From an early age I was always fascinated by wildlife. From the myriad of insects and birds in our back garden, to the marine life along the coast of Seaburn in Sunderland where I grew up.

Over the course of my studies in marine biology and oceanography I became focused on learning skills in habitat mapping and ecological modelling of marine mammals, undertaking a Ph.D. on understanding the distribution and behaviour of North Atlantic minke whales. Through these skills I have been able to take the ‘deep-dive’ into the world’s largest datasets and repositories of knowledge on the natural world such as GBIF and OBIS. I’ve always wanted to ensure that our best available knowledge is used to make positive conservation changes whilst working on numerous projects associated with the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity. Before joining the NBN Better Biodiversity Data Project I worked as the programme coordinator of the Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force  for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s  (IUCN) Joint Species Survival Commission/World Commission on Protected Areas. This partnership of experts from across research, conservation, and business, created the world’s first global atlas and repository of knowledge of Important Marine Mammal Areas.

Living on the Isle of Mull on Scotland’s west coast I’m surrounded by a wealth of wildlife, and feel very lucky to work remotely from a place where white-tailed eagles can be seen on my daily walks with my dog Rollo.