In Conservation With… interview

In Conservation With… Q&A

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Prof. Richard D. Gregory

The State of Nature Report 2023

Richard grew up with a mad keen interest in birds – a passion that has stayed with him for all his professional life. He studied Ecology at York University, completing a Doctorate in Epidemiology and Ecology at Oxford University, before moving on to hold a Junior Research Fellowship at St Cross College, Oxford. From Oxford, he joined the British Trust for Ornithology as the Head of the Census Unit working there to design and set up bird monitoring schemes and understand trends before moving on to join the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds as the Head of the Monitoring in Conservation Science in 1999. He was made an Honorary Professor at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research, University College London in 2016 and spend time working from there and teaching. He also works at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, as the RSPB is a partner in the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

His interests are in conservation and biodiversity science – linking conservation science with practice and policy making. Richard’s specific expertise is ecology, in biological survey design, biodiversity monitoring, statistics, metrics and indicators. He has a strong scientific publication record ( – and is co-author of the fifth edition of the RSPB’s Handbook of British Birds – a best seller! His team leads work on species monitoring and biodiversity research, often working with partners in UK/Europe and globally to promote biodiversity science and conservation objectives. They have led the production of the State of Nature report series in UK with many great partners and will be talking about it on ICW.

Richard is involved in a wide range of research collaborations with academics, eNGOs and government agencies, engaging with nature practice and policy at national and international scales.

Richard is a very keen naturalist and birder.

What is the state of the UK’s nature?