Science Communication Awards Panel (2020 awards)

We’re delighted to introduce our panel for our second year of ornithology Science Communication Awards.

Our international panel is made up of recognised science communicators from within ornithology and wider ecology. Between them, they have a wealth of experience across all social media platforms, in particular the three primary platforms associated with these awards – Twitter, Facebook and blogging.

Look out for posts on social media about the individual awards and when nominations open.

Jody Allair

Jody is an avid birder and naturalist who enjoys sharing his enthusiasm for the natural world. He is the Director of Citizen Science and Community Engagement at Birds Canada where he is the co-editor of BirdWatch Canada magazine and the Coordinator of eBird Canada. Jody delivers various science-focused education and outreach programs to audiences across Canada. He has banded Northern Saw-whet Owls on CBC’s Rick Mercer Report, spoken about Canada Jays at Ideacity, has appeared on the American Birding Association podcast and has written numerous articles on birds, birding and connecting with nature.

Connect with Jody personally on social media – @JodyAllair – on Twitter and Instagram.

Dr Tatsuya Amano

Tatsuya is a conservation scientist and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Queensland. His main research interest is in generating and providing knowledge on global biodiversity changes and conservation. His work has been primarily focused on applying modelling approaches to understand long-term changes in bird (especially waterbird) diversity at local, regional and global scales.

Tatsuya is also committed to understanding consequences of language barriers in science and solving the issue. He is leading the translatE project (, which applies scientific approaches to address this important, yet often overlooked challenge of transcending language barriers in science, with the aim of maximising scientific contributions to global biodiversity conservation.

You can find Tatsuya on Twitter @ tatsuya_amano .

Steve Dudley

Steve is the BOU’s Chief Operations Officer and responsible for all of the BOU’s social media and communications. He has worked in and around ornithology, and in particular science communication, since 1985 including as an RSPB reserves engagement officer, as the BTO’s membership development officer, and, since 1997, running the BOU.

Steve is a passionate science communicator and has been a key driver of the ornithological community’s take-up of social media, in particular Twitter, since 2012. He shares his expertise and experience via the BOU blog and by delivering presentations, workshops and seminars at face-to-face and online events. His scicomm publications include, with Jen Smart, How social are ornithologists? and with Tom Finch and Nina O’Hanlon, Tweeting birds: social media promotes citations in ornithology. With Nina O’Hanlon, he is joint organiser of BOU Twitter conferences (#BOU17TC and #BOU18TC).

You can find Steve on Twitter @stevedudley_.

Gill Holmes

Gill is a graduate student at Trent University located in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong, Canada. They’ve worked in the field of avian ecology for up to 10 years on various projects. They define themselves as an Arctic researcher and are currently studying the impacts of mining-induced flooding on arctic-nesting birds and the use of deterrents as mitigation to combat nest loss. In the past, Gill worked as a banding assistant at Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory, where they taught volunteers and the public about North American migratory birds’ ecology.

You can find Gill on Twitter @ giholmes91 and Instagram @gillbirb.

Tykee James

Tykee James is the government affairs coordinator at the National Audubon Society and sits on the board of directors of the DC Audubon Society, Wyncote Audubon Society, Audubon Maryland-DC, the Birding Co-op, and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

After moving to DC almost two years ago, he is grounded in his special role: organizing bird walks with members of Congress and congressional staff! Tykee has built residency in this work from his experience in Philadelphia, his hometown. His first job was an environmental educator and community organiser in his own neighborhood. Tykee would also serve a State Representative as her environmental policy advisor. He develops himself as a leader through his fellowship with the Environmental Leadership Program and membership with the Green Leadership Trust.

In his personal time he is the audio producer for Wildlife Observer Network, a wildlife media project he started with some wildlife-friendly friends in Philly. Tykee hosts two podcasts: Brothers in Birding and On Word for Wildlife.

You can find Tykee on Twitter @Tykee_James and Instagram @ TykeeJames.

Dr Virat Jolli

Virat is a naturalist and ornithologist. He has a PhD in Environmental Studies from University of Delhi, India. During his PhD, he studied the impact of hydro power project on birds in the Himalayas and has worked with the World Pheasant Association, UK. Virat is President of Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability (BEST), a New Delhi based NGO. He has organized citizen science and community engagement programmes in remote areas of North India and has trained numerous native people in bird count methods. Virat also delivers lectures on environmental education to undergraduate students at the University of Delhi.

Virat has been a member of the BOU since 2014 and is a regular presenter at BOU annual conferences and Twitter conferences, including as a keynote presenter at #BOU17TC. He was the recipient of Rufford Small Grant for Nature Conservation in 2011 and 2013 and was awards a BOU Travel Grant in 2018 to attend and present his work at the International Ornithological Congress in Vancouver, Canada.

You can find Virat on Twitter @jollivirat .

Sorrel Lyall

Sorrel is a young birder currently studying a BSc in Ecology at Edinburgh University. She is passionate about youth engagement in birding and is a member of the BTO’s Youth Advisory Panel. She is also a founding member of the Edinburgh University Ornithological Society, running trips and events for other students. Sorrel enjoys wildlife art, particularly watercolour paintings of birds, and has contributed artwork to the upcoming European Breeding Birds Atlas. Recently Sorrel has campaigned for improved diversity and inclusivity in the ornithology and conservation sectors. After graduating, Sorrel hopes to pursue a career in ecological research and environmental engagement.

You can find Sorrel on Twitter @SorrelLyall.

Dr Nina O’Hanlon

Nina is an ornithologist with a particular interest in seabird ecology and conservation. She is currently undertaking a post-doc at the Environmental Research Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands), focusing on anthropogenic threats to seabirds in the northeast Atlantic. Nina is a member of the BOU’s Engagement Committee as our Social Media Support Officer and with British Birds as a director focusing on communication and social media. She co-authored (with Tom Finch and Steve Dudley) Tweeting birds: social media promotes citations in ornithology. With Steve Dudley, she is joint organiser of BOU Twitter conferences (#BOU17TC and #BOU18TC).

You can find Nina on Twitter @Nina_OHanlon.

Emily Williams

Emily is an avian ecologist that never misses an opportunity to get people excited about birds. She is based in Washington, DC, USA and is currently pursuing her PhD at Georgetown University studying the migratory behavior of American Robins. Emily is passionate about outreach and science communication and is active towards making science fun and accessible for everyone. She was the recipient of the BOU Social Media Award in 2019.

Find out more about Emily’s work at and you can find her on Twitter @wayfaringwilly.

Nicole Wood

Nicole’s research has spanned North America’s Great Lakes Basin, with projects ranging from Bobcat population distributions to invasive Mute Swan impacts on coastal wetlands. She has been the person behind the social media of many scientific organisations and believes effective science communication is absolutely critical to help support more informed decision-making in our societies. You’ll find her on the upcoming long-awaited second season of Scicomm Monday (@scicommmonday) where she will be sitting down with scientists around the world to share their science with a live audience and at @wildlifebiogal the rest of the time.

Science Communication Awards home

We’re very grateful to Leica Camera UK for providing prizes for this years awards.

Graphics by