Professor Michael Usher
OBE, FRSE (Chair)

Michael's career started with a degree in forestry and continued with 24 years at the University of York. There he taught ecology and conservation and researched, amongst other things, animals in woodland soils and the design of farm woodlands.

For more than a decade he was Chief Scientist at Scottish Natural Heritage, and is currently Honorary Professor in the Universities of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Stirling. In the Council of Europe he chairs the Committee of Specialists on the European Diploma for Protected Areas (Bern Convention) and he is also the series editor for the Ecology, Biodiversity and Conservation series of books published by Cambridge University Press.

Jane Dalgleish
(Vice-Chair)

Jane has a degree in classics and followed this by qualifying as a solicitor in Scotland. After a spell in private practice, she worked as a solicitor in the Scottish Office, specialising in fisheries law, and then moved across to administration within the Scottish Office. Her interest in wildlife began with a secondment to the Nature Conservancy Council in Scotland and thereafter she became Regional Director for Scottish Natural Heritage in SE Scotland and latterly Head of Policy and Strategy for that organisation. She returned to the Scottish Office where she worked on natural heritage issues and retired in 2011, having spent the last few years engaged in rural policy. 

Nigel Ajax-Lewis MBE

Nigel is currently Head of Biodiversity and Policy at the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales. He is a wildlife expert who has dedicated more than 30 years to conservation and was instrumental in creating the Nature Centre reserve, Tondu, near Bridgend, transforming 300 acres of former mining ground into a lush woodland with ponds and wildlife. He received an MBE for his work in this area in 2005.

Alan McKirdy

Alan has a degree in geology and mineralogy from Aberdeen University and was employed by the Nature Conservancy Council in that capacity for 15 years. He then joined Scottish Natural Heritage and was later appointed to the role of Head of Habitats and Species, managing many of SNH's specialists in the fields of fresh water ecology, uplands and peatland management, species conservation and the earth sciences. His career then changed tack to concentrate on knowledge, information and data management. As part of these responsibilities, he was a Trustee of the National Biodiversity Network for a five year period and promoted the use of species distribution data to inform better planning and agri-environmental decision-making.

Peter Farr

Peter trained in biological sciences at Monash University before moving on to work in adult education at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has retired from the Civil Service where he was head of training in the Department for International Development for many years, with interests in policy, management and leadership.

Dr Alasdair Rutherford

Alasdair is an academic economist with research interests in the voluntary sector and social care. 

Currently employed as a lecturer in quantitative methods in the School of Applied Social Science based at the University of Stirling, Alasdair has also worked for seven years in the voluntary sector, and for four years as a freelance consultant.  He has previously served on the board of an Edinburgh-based community charity.

Dr Jane Stout

Jane has a PhD in bumblebee ecology from Southampton University and moved to Ireland in 2001 to do postdoctoral research. She is now a Senior Lecturer at Trinity College Dublin, in the School of Natural Sciences, and is Director of the Trinity Centre for Biodiversity Research.

Jane’s research focuses on plant and pollinator diversity, the effects that human activities have on them, and the implications for ecosystem services, especially pollination.

Les Moore

Les is a qualified accountant with over 35 years of experience working in local government finance, with wide experience in the whole aspect of the finance function, and hands-on experience of the key areas of financial management and planning and statutory accounting.

He has experience of working within the charitable sector through his voluntary role as trustee and treasurer of a youth organisation, with knowledge and experience of the duties of charity trustees and the financial aspects of charities, including experience of charity regulations in Scotland.

"We are facing a fundamental problem with the decline of bees and other pollinators. They have an absolutely crucial role in pollinating many of our important crops - without them we will face higher food costs and potential shortages."

Professor Douglas Kell
BBSRC Chief Executive

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