Andrew Tongue

Andrew Tongue

Doctoral Researcher, avian ecotoxicology
Centre for Ornithology, University of Birmingham
Birmingham, UK

Find Andrew on Twitter @TongueAndrew

Involved with the BOU as:
ECR member

BOU member since: 2013

Most likely to be found . . .
. . . Near a landfill site or in front of a computer

Why are you a member of the BOU?
I think it’s pretty much essential!

What do you enjoy most about your involvement with the BOU?
The opportunity to network with avian scientists, internationally.

What would you say to anyone who is considering joining (or leaving!) the BOU?
I would say that BOU membership is essential for ornithologists, and especially so if UK-based.

If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
I’ve attended several BOU conferences and I’ve always come away with a tremendous buzz, although also sometimes in awe of the many great people now working in ornithological science.

When did your interest in ornithology begin?
Five years old. Great Tits in the garden.

What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
I’ve been on some crazy twitches, but very few in recent years, I’m pleased to say. Being woken up by a displaying Greenshank while surveying on a Sutherland hilltop was nice.

What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
Anywhere where I can just be on my own with birds to watch.

What do you predict to be the future big research areas in ornithology?

What would you say to anyone considering research in ornithology?
I think it helps if you are passionate about your subject and determined.

If you could visit anywhere in the world, that you haven’t yet been to, where would it be and why?
I’ve never been to St Kilda. It sounds like a nice place to get away from it all…

What are the big conservation challenges in the next decade?
In five words: climate change, human population, consumerism

Has your career in ornithology turned out how you expected it to?
Ask me in another ten years!

As an early career researcher, what do you hope to achieve within ornithology in the next 10 years?
I hope to get a job for a start! After that, well, anything that makes any small contribution to our understanding of how better to protect biodiversity.

Why birds?
I am a birder first and then a scientist. Birding is what got me into science. When you dream about birds at night, it’s difficult to want to have any other job.

What are your interests outside the world of ornithology?
Jogging and eating. Not at the same time and usually in the reverse order.

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