My work and research interests fall into three main areas:
i) understanding the status of, and threats to, biodiversity globally; ii) directing or prioritizing scarce conservation resources to places and species that need it most; and iii) measuring the impact of conservation actions and improving their effectiveness.
Much of my career has been defined by a close association with the IUCN Red List: the most comprehensive and trusted resource on the status of species.
I have played an active role in expanding the coverage of the Red List to new taxa, improving the standards, tools, protocols and guidance that support the Red List process, and advising on its use for conservation planning, monitoring and management. The Red List has proven essential to help inform conservation decision-making, and I’ve been involved in helping launch or support several initiatives that use Red List data to help direct efforts to safeguarding key places (such as Key Biodiversity Areas or their urgent subset, Alliance for Zero Extinction sites) or unique species (through our work at ZSL on the EDGE programme). I’m also interested in how to implement effective actions to recover biodiversity. At the site-level, my focus is mostly on improving the management of protected and conserved areas, especially through the use of technology (such as SMART) and by supporting a professionalized ranger workforce (working through the URSA Partnership); at the species level, my work at ZSL affords me close engagement with many incredible species recovery programmes, from Sahelo-Saharan antelopes to pangolins.
I also have an interest in demonstrating the impact of conservation actions, and together with a team of amazing collaborators helped develop the IUCN Green Status of Species as a means of measuring species recovery and incentivizing future conservation efforts.
Although now more of a conservation generalist, I do have a keen interest in mammalian taxonomy, biogeography and conservation. I co-edited (with the legendary Jonathan Kingdon) the 6-volume Mammals of Africa and hold one of the world’s most comprehensive private libraries on African mammals.
Member, URSA Steering Committee (2020-)
Member, SMART Steering Committee (2019-)
Member, KBA Standards and Appeals Committee (2017-)
Member, Red List Committee (2012-)
Member, IUCN SSC Steering Committee (2012-)