Cambridgeshire scientist wins prestigious national award

01 Nov 2015 | No. 2015-55

Stuart Butchart of BirdLife International, based in Cambridge, scooped the British Trust for Ornithology BTO/ Marsh Award for Ornithology at a glittering ceremony in London.

The ceremony, held at the Mall Galleries and hosted by the Society of Wildlife Artists, saw Stuart receive his award from Peter Titley of the Marsh Christian Trust. The award recognises the huge contribution that Stuart has made to British ornithology. As Head of Science at BirdLife International, he leads a team who help to set conservation priorities for BirdLife Partner organisations in 120 countries across the world, and ensure that sound science underpins BirdLife’s conservation programmes, policy, advocacy and communications.

Stuart has an impressive publication record with over 100 published scientific papers, including leading on a critically important Science paper documenting the failure of governments worldwide to reduce global biodiversity loss. His research also includes many publications on the status of the world’s birds, and on the use of bird data for monitoring progress against global commitments on biodiversity conservation.

Receiving the award he said “It is an honour to be chosen for this award, but credit should go to my brilliant colleagues at BirdLife and exceptional collaborators across the world.”

Dr James Pearce Higgins, Director of Science at the BTO, said, “Stuart has been closely involved in work to assess the impact of climate change on the world’s birds (led by IUCN) and to assess impacts on Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (led by the University of Durham). As a result, he has had a significant impact on global conservation science. Stuart formerly chaired the IUCN Red List Technical Working Group and currently sits on the IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group. In brief, he is arguably one of the world’s pre-eminent bird conservationists with an incredible knowledge of scientific and conservation issues, as well as of individual bird species, and is a well-deserved winner of this award.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The Marsh Award for Ornithology - Awarded to an ornithologist who is making a significant contribution to the field, typically someone who gained a PhD between ten and twenty years prior to the award being made.
  2. Marsh Christian Trust - The Trust runs a portfolio of Awards with a number of internationally and nationally recognised organisations such as Barnardos, the British Museum and the Zoological Society of London. The Awards seek to recognise unsung heroes who all aim to improve the world we live in. Recipients of Marsh Awards range from scientists working in conservation biology and ecology, to authors and sculptors from the arts world, and those who give their time unselfishly to work with the young, the elderly, people with mental health issues and for our heritage
  3. The BTO is the UK's leading bird research charity. A growing membership and up to 60,000 volunteer birdwatchers contribute to the BTO's surveys, collecting information that underpins conservation action in the UK. The BTO maintains a staff of 100 at its offices in Thetford, Stirling, Bangor (Wales) and Bangor (Northern Ireland), who analyse and publicise the results of surveys and projects. The BTO's work is funded by BTO supporters, government, trusts, industry and conservation
  4. BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Together we are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country – and growing.  

    We are driven by our belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through our global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people.
  5. The Society of Wildlife Artists is a registered charity that seeks to generate appreciation and delight in the natural world through all forms of fine art inspired by the world’s wildlife.

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