Meet . . . members of the Awards Nominations Committee

Our newest committee, the Awards Nominations Committee now oversees the criteria of, and nominations processes for, each of our awards.

Dr Lucy Wright


Lucy has a lifelong interest in birds and now work as a Principal Conservation Scientist in the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. Her career began with various short research contracts before and after a PhD on Woodlark demography. She worked at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) as a Research Ecologist and later Research Manager focusing largely on investigating the potential impacts of developments (wind farms, tidal power, airports) on birds and advising on the designation of marine protected areas. She then moved to her current role at the RSPB in 2016, where Lucy leads a small team who provide scientific support for RSPB’s casework relating to planned developments and protected areas, and conduct research into the impacts of offshore wind farms on seabirds.

Lucy is a keen bird ringer, mostly with the Wash Wader Ringing Group, and sits on the BTO’s Ringing Committee that oversees the work of volunteer ringers across Britain and Ireland. She’s an Associate Editor for the BTO journal Bird Study. She believes that diversity, in all its forms, makes us stronger, and she wants to help the BOU to continue its work to improve equality and diversity in ornithology.

Follow Lucy on Twitter @_LucyWright

Dr Marta Acácio

Marta is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Tel Aviv University, and she is dedicated to the study of movement ecology, combining novel tracking technologies and fieldwork to further understand bird movement. Her current research focuses on the movement ecology of Griffon Vultures in Israel, where they are critically endangered. She is aiming to understand how griffons adapt their movement behaviour throughout their lives, aiming to help in their conservation. During her PhD at the University of East Anglia, Marta studied how individuals adapt their movement behaviour to the environmental conditions and in response to human-induced environmental change, using white-storks and shoebills as study species.

Dr Adham Ashton-Butt

Adham is a Senior Research Ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology. His work centers around the use of a broad variety of data types (bioacoustic, tracking, satellite, citizen science) to answer ecological questions with a focus on combatting the biodiversity crisis.

Adham loves being outdoors, whether in the field, collecting data, or hiking (with his binoculars), and also likes to combine his passion for bird ringing with his passion for travel.

Dr Annette Fayet

Annette is a seabird ecologist, and a researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, where she co-leads the long-term seabird monitoring programme on Røst in Northern Norway. Before moving to Norway, she was based at the University of Oxford in the UK, where her main field site was Skomer Island in Wales. Her research investigates drivers of foraging and migration movements in North Atlantic and tropical seabirds.

Follow Annette on Twitter @AnnetteFayet

Dr Robert Hawkes

Robert is a conservation scientist at the RSPB. His research focuses on conservation solutions for priority UK species in agricultural and semi-natural landscapes, with a focus on agri-environment schemes. Although much of his research focuses on birds, he also works with land owners, ecologists and taxonomic experts to develop decision support tools for other species groups, including plants and invertebrates.

Follow Robert on Twitter @Robert_W_Hawkes

Dr Grant Humphries

Grant is originally from Newfoundland, Canada, and has been birding since he was a young boy. Going into his undergrad, he knew he wanted to get into marine biology and was drawn into marine ornithology after his first field season on Buldir Island in Alaska. He studied Leach’s Petrel vocalizations and then went on to do a masters at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2008, where he began to study the field of machine learning in the context of seabird ecology. In 2010 he moved to Dunedin, New Zealand where he undertook his PhD working with Sooty Shearwaters and predictive modelling of climate systems using seabird harvest data. Grant took on a number of consultancy contracts between his PhD and post-doctoral programs, eventually ending up at Stony Brook, New York where he got involved with studying Antarctic penguins. He was the lead web programmer for the mapping application for penguin populations and projected dynamics (MAPPPD;, and every year returns to Antarctica as a professional penguin counter.

Since moving to Scotland in 2016, Grant has been the lead editor on a Machine Learning in ecology book and is also the lead data scientist at HiDef Aerial Surveying. He has been involved in projects all around the world through his own consultancy, Black Bawks Data Science, and every year goes to Newfoundland to do monitoring work on seabirds in Bonavista Bay. He’s the co-host of Seabird Sessions, and when he’s not working with seabirds, he plays guitar and mandolin, and enjoys kayaking and birding.

Follow Grant on Twitter @GrantHumphries

Dr Becky Laidlaw

Becky works as a marine industries specialist advisor for Natural Resources Wales. Becky has previously worked on breeding waders, with roles at the University of East Anglia, University of Iceland and the RSPB. Her PhD explored habitat management options to minimise predation of breeding waders in lowland wet grasslands, and she carried this forward to further research on wader nest predation in England and in Iceland. This led to her organising a predator management workshop, which identified and prioritised the key knowledge gaps for predator studies in breeding waders. Becky is currently part of the Scientific Organising Committee for the 2022 BOU Annual Conference.

Follow Becky on Twitter @blaidlaw1

Dr Kate Rogerson

Kate is a marine ornithology specialist working at Natural England (on maternity leave until January 2024). Her work has focused on conservation requirements and pathways for marine birds across England alongside providing advice to developers of offshore windfarms regarding marine birds. Kate has previously worked at an environmental consultancy focusing on marine bird interactions with offshore renewables and monitoring of birds at Special Protection Areas.

Kate undertook her PhD at the University of East Anglia studying the migration routes and patterns of white stork adults and juveniles using GPS transmitters. She undertook fieldwork throughout the breeding period to study the chicks growth in the nest and the natal areas, including the use of landfill sites as foraging sites.

Dr Alice Trevail

My research to date has focused on how variability in the physical environment shapes movement strategies of seabirds, from individual foraging habitat selection to species migrations. I am interested in where animals forage, given the complex and diverse range of opportunities within their surrounding environment. During my PhD at the University of Liverpool I explored fine scale foraging behaviour of kittiwakes around the UK. I am currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Exeter, working on a project that aims to understand the value of habitat within Marine Protected Areas to seabirds in the Western Indian Ocean.

Follow Alice on Twitter @AliceTrevail

Dr Leila Walker

Leila has responsibility for the day to day management and running of the BOU including conferences and events, the business side of the BOU’s journal, IBIS, social media and communications, website development and content management and servicing BOU Council and its Standing Committees.

Follow Leila on Twitter @leilakwalker