I am a freelance biodiversity consultant with strong managerial expertise in programme and project planning, implementation and evaluation. I trained as a botanist and the conservation of plant diversity remains my core professional interest.
In February 2015 I stepped down as Secretary General of Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) after 10 years with the organisation. I remain closely in touch with BGCI which is undertaking vitally important conservation and education work.
Before joining BGCI, I worked as Global Programmes Director for Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and previously I have worked for UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG). I also worked as a freelance consultant for over ten years, undertaking research and providing policy advice on international biodiversity conservation.
I am currently Co-Chair of the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group, responsible for promoting and implementing projects to Red List and conserve globally threatened tree species. We aim to undertake a complete Global Tree Assessment by 2020.
I greatly enjoy writing and editing and have published many research papers and articles as well as popular books - as shown below.
(Left): Enjoying flowers of the Picos de Europa with Sue Holland
In May 2013 I was awarded an Institutional Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ghent, Belgium, in recognition of my work in international plant conservation. It was a huge honour and I am very proud to be associated with the University.
(Right): The award ceremony in Ghent, and the celebrations afterwards
Various books that I have written. New writing projects are underway including a proposed volume on the world’s rarest plants.