Involved with the BOU as:
IBIS associate editor
BOU member since: 1995
Most likely to be found . . .
. . . in my office, occasionally hanging off a bird cliff in Greenland.
What does being an IBIS associate editor involve?
Evaluating ~10 submitted manuscripts per year. More specifically, I select reviewers (the hardest part!), assess and summarize their reviews, add my own thoughts and make a recommendation to the editor.
What would you say to anyone who is considering submitting a paper to IBIS?
Remember that IBIS is a general ornithological journal, so you should strive to make your paper interesting and relevant also for those readers who’re not familiar with your study species. Read a bunch of IBIS papers and decide which ones are most interesting or impressive. Analyse what makes them so good – and try to apply similar principles to your own writing. Finally, submit your best stuff to IBIS!
Why are you a member of the BOU?
BOU is the best and most relevant scientific society for a European ornithologist, in my opinion. Not least, the conferences are generally wonderful and well worth the membership fee in their own right.
When did your interest in ornithology begin?
I was mad about animals in general as a kid, both in books and in the wild. During my teens this interest focused on birds, and I had a period as a fairly active birder. Later on, the more academic aspects took over – but I’m still completely fascinated by birds and enjoy watching them and trying to understand their sometimes weird behaviour.
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
Hard to choose…but possibly ringing Auks on Europe’s largest bird cliff in Iceland, with 200m vertical drop above us and another 200 m below us, with hundreds of thousands of Auks, Kittiwakes and Fulmars milling about. The clouds came in, and we could see neither the sea below us nor the top of the cliff above us. Completely disconnected from the ordinary world, we just carried on catching and ringing …
Has your career in ornithology turned out how you expected it to?
No – it’s taken so many serendipitous twists and turns that I’ve ended up a completely different place from what I thought. My best advice would be to grab any opportunity that comes along to do something exciting – long-terms plans aren’t very likely to work out in your early career.
For any bird lover, that’s a meaningless question!