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RSPB elects Cardiff Professor as new chairman

Last modified: 08 October 2012

Steve Ormerod

Professor Steve Ormerod

Image: Cardiff University

Europe’s largest wildlife conservation charity, the RSPB, has elected a new chairman.

Professor Steve Ormerod, often described as one of the foremost freshwater ecologists of his generation, was elected as Ian Darling’s successor at the charity’s AGM this weekend (Saturday 6 October) and will take up his post with immediate effect.

Currently chair of the RSPB’s Advisory Committee for Wales and Past President of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Steve is Professor of Ecology in Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences and has published over 250 scientific papers into freshwater ecosystems, including river birds such as the dipper, grey wagtail and kingfisher.

A former chief editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology and 2011 recipient of the Marsh Award for Marine and Freshwater Conservation, Steve has long been a powerful advocate for wildlife. He is a past Council member of the Freshwater Biological Association, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Rivers’ Trust and the British Trust for Ornithology. He served also with the scientific advisory committee of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust as well as several Defra committees, including the expert panel of the recent National Ecosystem Assessment.

Commenting on the task ahead of him, Professor Ormerod said: “This is a hugely challenging time to be invited to chair RSPB Council: the global need to conserve nature for its own intrinsic value and for the countless benefits it brings to our lives has never been more acute.  But the movement of RSPB and its many partners will rise to this challenge by reconnecting people with the natural world, by demonstrating what is achievable and by making the strongest political case for conservation.  I’m very flattered to be asked to take on this role at such a pivotal moment”

Mike Clarke, the RSPB’s Chief Executive, said: “I am delighted that Steve has agreed to take on the role of UK Chairman at such an exciting time.  With the RSPB continuing to evolve as we embark on our ambitious new Saving Nature strategy, Steve is ideally placed to lead the challenge and help us inspire even more people.”

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