Dr Leila Walker

We are delighted to announce Dr Leila Walker as our new Chief Operations Officer.

With a PhD in Ecology (on the consequences of early- and adult-life nutrition for the colour and conservation of the Hihi Notiomystis cincta) from the University of Cambridge, Leila brings with her a wealth of experience from her previous roles, which also include working as a department Project Administrator at Aarhus University, an Editorial Assistant within the Taylor and Francis publishing group and a Conservation Scientist with the RSPB’s Centre for Conservation Science.

Leila is well-known within the BOU and wider ornithological community as not only a long-standing member, but also as one of our first Support Officer appointments (as Website SO) and former member of our Engagement Committee (2014–18), part of the secretariat of our Equality and Diversity Working Group and her recent stint providing maternity cover as our Blog Editor. Knowing the BOU so well from both sides, Leila is ideally placed to take on the challenges of running our community-based society.

BOU President, Prof Juliet Vickery, commented on Leila’s appointment “I am delighted that someone with such passion and understanding of the BOU will be stepping into this post and I know Leila will use her remarkable breadth of knowledge and experience to take forward our commitment to support and promote a diverse and inclusive ornithological science community.”

Leila herself stated “I am truly thrilled to be entrusted with this role. I’m very much looking forward to getting started, working closely with the delightful BOU community and playing my part in keeping this remarkable society, and scientific ornithology, moving forward.”.

Leila will join us at the end of May when she overlaps with our outgoing long-standing COO, Steve Dudley, until the end of July. Steve added “I’m absolutely thrilled to be handing over the baton to Leila. I honestly can’t think of anyone more fitting or accomplished to continue the development of our great society. Leila has been with the Union from an early-career member, has taken on roles within committees, supported us as we’ve supported her development and because of this, Leila innately gets the BOU and our community and I know the BOU is in very safe hands going forward.”