Meet . . . our Equality & Diversity Working Group

Dr Graeme Buchanan

Chair, Equality & Diversity Working Group

Graeme is a lifelong birder who, after a Zoology BSc at Aberdeen, worked on upland research in the UK and on island conservation in the Indian Ocean. After completing his PhD on Reed Bunting paternity at Sunderland University, he joined RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. There he researched upland and moorland birds before moving to international conservation, where he has subsequently worked on a broad range of topics and species, many using satellite remote-sensing data. He is currently Head of International, Conservation Science. He has served on BOU Meetings Committee 2010 – 2014 and BOU Council 2014 – 2018.

Email Graeme

Dr Ailidh Barnes *

Ailidh works as a Research Ecologist in the Monitoring Research Team at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) covering a wide range of projects related to understanding change in populations of birds and other taxa, and the effectiveness of protected areas. She completed her PhD at Bournemouth University in 2020 which consisted of collating and analysing bird survey data and habitat data through vegetation surveys and structural data from remotely sensed LiDAR to investigate bird-habitat relationships at a landscape scale. This encompassed not only measures of diversity and species richness but also measures of declining, conservation priority and rare species from bird trend data and population estimates in two contrasting landscapes.

Ailidh is also an Ex-officio committee member of the Tay Ringing Group and has contributed to the data collection in Wytham Woods with the University of Oxford, and in Trinidad with the University of Dundee.

Follow Ailidh on Twitter @AilidhBarnes

Dr Emma Cunningham

Council member

Emma gained her BSc in Zoology from the University of Glasgow and her PhD in the breeding ecology of wildfowl from the University of Sheffield. A Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship then took her to the University of Cambridge where she worked on the impact of avian brood parasitism on host reproductive strategies in neotropical birds in Central America. Since 2014 she has been based at the University of Edinburgh, initially supported by a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, where her focus has been on maternal responses to infection in gamebirds and the impact of parasitism in seabird populations. She has previously sat on Council of the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour in a number of roles, been a member of NERC College and and is currently an Associate Editor for the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Animal Ecology. She is currently leading the development of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Adapting to Environmental Change.

Dr Tom Finch


Tom works is a Senior Conservation Scientist with the RSPB’s Centre for Concervation Science. His interests include conservation, agriculture and bird migration. He completed his PhD at the University of East Anglia in 2016, where he studied the breeding ecology and migration of the European Roller. He sits on BOU Council as an ordinary member, and is also on the BOU Engagement Committee.

Follow Tom on Twitter @ tomfinch89

Dr Daniel Hayhow

Engagement Committee member

Daniel has been working in conservation science for the RSPB since completing his PhD at the University of East Anglia with Prof Jenny Gill on winter habitat use by Black-tailed Godwits in Ireland. In the Monitoring and Species Research section of the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science, Daniel has led national surveys for a range of scarce species including Hen Harrier, Dotterel, Snow Bunting, Chough and Golden Eagle. In recent years Daniel has led on a number of multi-partner publications including the 2016 and 2019 State of Nature reports.

Through this body of work Daniel has built up a broad knowledge of species ecology and conservation issues and practice. Passionate about engaging people with nature and conservation Daniel has been active in communicating with the public through radio, TV and print media as well as social media activities and citizen science projects.

In August 2020 Daniel will join Earthwatch as Research Lead in Urban Biodiversity, an exciting new challenge working on urban biodiversity studies as well as climate resilience and mitigation projects globally.

Dr Leila Walker

Chief Operations Officer
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.

* EDWG Secretariat