Jen Smart

Jen Smart_resized

Principal Conservation Scientist
RSPB Centre for Conservation Science
Norfolk, UK

Find Jen on Twitter @drredshank

Involved with the BOU as:
Member of the BOU Council
Chair, BOU IBIS Management Committee
BOU Council member

BOU member since: 2014

Most likely to be found . . .
. . . cycling anywhere and everywhere

What is your role on the BOU committee on which you sit?
Until mid-2016 I was Chair of the BOU’s Engagement Committee which is a great new initiative whose role is to come up with lots of ideas for how to engage more with members and the ornithological community. The Committee is a mix of bright young early career researchers with roles to do with social media, conferences and the web and us older characters to help steer their enthusiasm.

I now Chair the BOU’s IBIS Management Committee. I’ve been an author, reviewer and Associate Editor of IBIS for many years and look forward to helping to shape the future of this most important of BOU activities.

What do you enjoy most about your involvement with the BOU?
Being involved with the BOU just gives me lots of opportunities to interact with ornithologists outside of my colleagues at work. I love encouraging young scientists to get involved and the early career researcher (ECR) scheme is a brilliant way of doing that. BOU conferences are also great.

What would you say to anyone who is considering joining (or leaving!) the BOU?
Considering joining – DO IT, considering leaving – DONT DO IT – you will regret it.

When did your interest in ornithology begin?
On a boat in the Firth of Forth on a trip to Bass Rock. I was on my way to start my conservation career at college, I wasn’t into birds and had a wee hang over but my mum thought it would be a good idea. I was blown away by the gannets and the puffins and so my interest in ornithology began that day.

What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
That’s a tricky one! I love Berney Marshes RSPB reserve in Norfolk, and have done lots of my breeding wader research there; it’s a special place to be in May. Now I am going to cheat because I also love Scotland, particularly the west coast and the islands. I have yet to visit a Scottish Island that I did not fall in love with.