WWT’s Director of Conservation

About me

I am a passionate and successful champion of environmental and social justice with a track-record of getting things done and leading high performing teams. I am dedicated to the protection and restoration of our natural world and the wildlife it supports and have based my career path on maximising my skills, knowledge and experience to meet this goal.

I am currently WWT's Director of Conservation, based at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire. I have had previous roles as the RSPB's Director for Eastern England, Head of Nature Policy, Director for Northern Ireland, and Conservation Manager for Northern Ireland, at WWT as Head of Wetland Biodiversity Unit, as Research Assistant at the University of Durham and as Lecturer at Bishop Burton College. I have a BSc Honours degree in Biological Sciences and PhD in seabird ecology, both from the University of Durham.

Work

I lead WWT's brilliant Conservation Directorate, making sure the team delivers measurable conservation outcomes in line with the organisation's strategy. I also sit on WWT's Management Board, contributing to Trust-wide matters and inspiring all staff and volunteers.

Our vision is a world where healthy wetland nature thrives and enriches lives. Our mission is to conserve, restore and create wetlands, save wetland wildlife, and inspire everyone to value the amazing things healthy wetlands ace ice for people and nature. My job is to work with conservation teams, colleagues in other parts of the organisation, and our partners and collaborators to make this happen.

Skills

  • Executive leadership and management of large and dispersed teams (220+ staff plus large volunteer base), balanced scorecard development and transformational organisation design
  • Developing, leading and managing large (£15m plus) budgets and projects
  • Developing conservation strategy and translating into global/country/regional implementation
  • Risk management and mitigation
  • Developing high performing teams and managing change by inspiring continual improvement and innovation
  • Building effective relationships with critical stakeholders and forming partnerships that deliver shared objectives
  • Policy development and advocacy (UK, all-Ireland, International)
  • Acquisition and management of land and property
  • Large-scale habitat creation and restoration, including climate change adaptation
  • Providing conservation advice internally and externally
  • Developing and implementing campaigns
  • Communicating to wide range of audiences (written and verbal) and acting as an ambassador
  • Developing international conservation plans and convening international workshops
  • Undertaking and publishing ecological and conservation science

Publications

Peer-reviewed scientific papers in international journals:

Atkinson, P.W., Austin, G.E., Rehfisch, M.M., Baker, H., Cranswick, P., Kershaw, M., Robinson, J., Langston, R.H.W., Stroud, D.A., van Turnhout, C. & Maclean, I.M.D. 2006. Raising ‘alerts’ for changes in waterbird numbers: the effects of missing data, population variability and count period on the interpretation of long-term survey data in the UK. Biological Conservation 130:549-559.

Cranswick, P.A. Denny, M., Hearn, R.D., Mitchell, C., Robinson. J., Rowell, H., Ward, R. & Worden, J. 2006. Waterbird Review Series: site inventories for swan and goose populations in Britain and Ireland. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, & D.A. Stroud. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. Pp. 680-681.

Eaton, M.A., Gregory, R.D., Noble, D.G., Robinson, J.A., Hughes, J., Procter, D., Brown, A.F. & Gibbons, D.W. 2005. Regional IUCN red listing: an investigation of the process as applied to birds in the United Kingdom. Conservation Biology 19: 1557-1570.

Gregory, R.D., Wilkinson, N.I., Noble, D.G., Robinson, J.A., Brown, A.F., Hughes, J., Proctor, D., Gibbons, D.W. & Galbraith, C.A. 2002. The population status of birds in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man: an analysis of conservation concern 2002-2007. British Birds 95: 410-448.

Inger, R, Bearhop, S., Robinson, J.A. & Ruxton, G. 2006. Prey choice affects the trade-off between predation and starvation in an avian herbivore. Animal Behaviour 71: 1335-1341.

Inger, R., Ruxton, G.D., Newton, J., Colhoun, K., Mackie, K., Robinson, J.A. & Bearhop, S. 2006. Using daily ration models and stable isotope analysis to predict biomass depletion by herbivores. Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 1022-1030.

Inger, R., Ruxton, G.D., Newton, J., Colhoun, K., Robinson, J.A., Jackson, A.L. & Bearhop, S. 2006. Temporal and intrapopulation variation in prey choice of wintering geese determined by stable isotope analysis. Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 1190-1200.

Lynas, P., Newton, S.F. & Robinson, J.A. 2007. The status of birds in Ireland: an analysis of conservation concern 2008-2013. Irish Birds 8: 149-167.

Price, R. & Robinson, J.A. 2008. The persecution of kites and other species in 18th century Co. Antrim. Irish Naturalists Journal 29: 1-6.

Robinson, J.A. 2008. The current status of habitat and species conservation in Northern Ireland. Bulletin of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management 59: 7-9.

Robinson, J.A. 1999. Migration and morphometrics of the Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator in northern Eurasia and the implications for conservation of this species in Britain and Ireland. Wildfowl 50: 139-148.

Robinson, J.A. 2003. A global overview of the ecology of the Ferruginous Duck. In: Petkov, N., Hughes, B. & Gallo-Orsi, U. (eds) Ferruginous Duck: from research to conservation. International Meeting Proceedings, 11-14 October 2002, Sofia, Bulgaria. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 6. BirdLife International, Cambridge; 114-121.

Robinson, J.A. 2006. Coordinating conservation action across the Atlantic: development of a Flyway management Plan for the East Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, & D.A. Stroud. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. Pp. 614-618.

Robinson, J.A. & Callaghan, D. 2003. The Ferruginous Duck as a Near Threatened species: problems, causes and solutions. In: Petkov, N., Hughes, B. & Gallo-Orsi, U. (eds) Ferruginous Duck: from research to conservation. International Meeting Proceedings, 11-14 October 2002, Sofia, Bulgaria. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 6. BirdLife International, Cambridge: 138-143.

Robinson, J.A. & Cranswick, P.A. 2004. Large-scale monitoring of the effects of human disturbance on waterbirds: a review of data collection and recommendations for survey design. Proceedings of the 15th EBCC Conference, Nyiregyhaza, Hungary. Ornis Hungarica 12-13: 199-207.

Robinson, J.A. & Hamer, K.C. 1998. Predation of Arctic Tern chicks by rabbits in NE England. Seabird 20, 41-43.

Robinson, J.A. & Hamer, K.C. 2000. Brood size and food provisioning in Common Terns Sterna hirundo and Arctic Terns S. paradisaea: Consequences for chick growth. Ardea 88: 51-60.

Robinson, J.A. & Hughes, B. 2003. The Global Status and Distribution of the Ferruginous Duck. In: Petkov, N., Hughes, B. & Gallo-Orsi, U. (eds) Ferruginous Duck: from research to conservation. International Meeting Proceedings, 11-14 October 2002, Sofia, Bulgaria. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 6. BirdLife International, Cambridge; 8-17.

Robinson, J.A. & Pollitt, M.S. 2002. Sources and extent of human disturbance to waterbirds in the UK: an analysis of Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) data, 1995/96-1998/99. Bird Study 49: 205-211.

Robinson, J.A., Aldridge, N.S., Wright, L. & Culzac, L.G. 2003. Invertebrate food supply and breeding success of Mallards at flooded gravel quarries in southern Britain. Ardea 91: 3-9.

Robinson, J.A., Chivers, L.S. & Hamer, K.C. 2001. A comparison of Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea and Common Tern S. hirundo nest-site characteristics on Coquet Island, Northeast England. Atlantic Seabirds 2: 49-58.

Robinson, J.A., Culzac, L.G. & Aldridge, N.S. 2002. Age‑related changes in the behaviour and habitat use of Mallard Anas platyrhynchos broods at artificially‑created lakes in southern Britain. Wildfowl 53: 107-118.

Robinson. J.A., Gudmundsson, G.A. & Clausen, P. Flyways of the East Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota: results of a satellite telemetry study. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, & D.A. Stroud. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. P. 519.

Robinson, J.A., Hamer, K.C. & Chivers, L.S. 2001. Contrasting brood sizes in Common and Arctic Terns: the roles of food provisioning rates and parental brooding. Condor 103: 108-117.

Robinson, J.A., Hamer, K.C. & Chivers, L.S. 2002. Developmental plasticity in Arctic Terns Sterna paradisaea and Common Terns S. hirundo in response to a period of extremely bad weather. Ibis 144: 344-346.

Robinson, J.A., Kershaw, M., Worden, J. & Cranswick, P. 2006. Britain’s first Winter River Bird Survey: a new approach to surveying waterbirds on linear waterways. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, & D.A. Stroud. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. Pp. 476-477.

Rowell, H. & Robinson, J.A. 2006. Identifying and characterising the feeding areas of Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta bernicla hrota in and around Special Protection Areas in the UK. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith, & D.A. Stroud. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. Pp. 517-518.

Sutherland, W.J. Barlow, R., Clements, A., Harper, M., Herkenrath, P., Margerison, C., Monk, K.A., Robinson, J.A. & Thompson,D.B.A. 2011. What are the forthcoming legislative issues of interest to ecologists and conservationists in 2011? BES Bulletin 1: 26-31.

Major peer-reviewed published reports:

Anon. (main contributor) 1999. National Report to be prepared in advance of the Meeting of Parties to the African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement - Guidance Note and Proforma. JNCC/DETR.

Anon. (main contributor) 1999. African-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement and Action Plan National Report to the first Meeting of Parties - UK worked example for illustrative purposes. JNCC/DETR.

Armitage, M. J. S., Austin G. E., Banks A. N., Burton N. H. K., Cranswick P. A., Hall C., Holloway S. J., Jackson S. F., Mellan H. J., Pollitt M. S., Rehfisch M. M., Robinson J. A., Ward R. M.& Worden J. 2004. Reviewing the Impact of Agency Permissions and Activities on Bird Populations in Special Protection Areas: Level 2 Interpretation. BTO Research Report No. 347, Report of work carried out by the British Trust for Ornithology and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust under contract to the Environment Agency.

Denny, M., Clausen, P.C., Percival, P., Anderson, G., & Robinson, J.A. 2004. Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota (Svalbard/North Greenland population) in Britain 1960/61 - 1999/2000. WWT/JNCC Waterbird Review Series, Slimbridge.

Gregory, R.D., Noble, D.G., Robinson, J.A., Stroud, D.A., Campbell, L.H., Rehfisch, M.M., Cranswick, P.A., Wilkinson, N.I., Crick, H.Q.P. & Green, R.E. 2002. The state of the UK’s birds 2001. The RSPB, BTO, WWT and JNCC, Sandy.

Gregory, R.D., Eaton, M., Noble, D.G., Robinson, J.A., Parsons, M., Baker, H., Austin, G. & Hilton, G.M. 2003. The state of the UK’s birds 2002. The RSPB, BTO, WWT and JNCC, Sandy.

Hughes, B., Robinson, J., Green, A., Li, D. & Mundkur, T. 2006. International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the White-headed Duck. AEWA Technical Series No. 8. Bonn, Germany.

Musgrove, A., Pollitt, P., Cranswick, P., Hall, C., Hearn, R., Robinson, J. & Holloway, S. 2001. The Wetland Bird Survey 1999-2000: Wildfowl & Wader Counts. BTO/WWT/RSPB/JNCC, Slimbridge.

Pollitt, P., Cranswick, P., Musgrove, A., Hall, C., Hearn, R., Robinson, J. & Holloway, S. 2000. The Wetland Bird Survey 1998-99: Wildfowl & Wader Counts. BTO/WWT/RSPB/JNCC, Slimbridge.

Pollitt, P., Cranswick, P., Musgrove, A., Hall, C., Hearn, R., Robinson, J. & Holloway, S. 2003. The Wetland Bird Survey 2000-01: Wildfowl & Wader Counts. BTO/WWT/RSPB/JNCC, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A. & Hughes, B. 2006. International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Ferruginous Duck. AEWA Technical Series No. 7. Bonn, Germany.

Robinson, J.A. & Colhoun, K. (Compilers) 2006. International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Light-bellied Brent Goose (East Canadian High Arctic population). AEWA Technical Series No. 11. Bonn, Germany.

Robinson, J.A., Colhoun, K.C., McElwaine, J.G. & Rees, E.C. 2004. Bewick’s Swan Cygnus columbianus bewickii in Britain and Ireland, 1960/61-1999/2000. WWT/JNCC Waterbird Review Series, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Colhoun, K.C., McElwaine, J.G. & Rees, E.C. 2004. Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus in Britain and Ireland, 1960/61-1999/2000. WWT/JNCC Waterbird Review Series, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Colhoun, K., Gudmundsson, G.A.,Boertmann, D., Merne, O.J., O’Briain, M., Portig, A.A., Mackie, K. & Boyd, H. 2004. Light-bellied Brent Goose Branta bernicla hrota (East Canadian High Arctic population) in Canada, Ireland, Iceland, Greenland, France, the Channel Islands, Britain and Spain 1960/61 - 1999/2000. WWT/JNCC Waterbird Review Series, Slimbridge.

Book chapters:

Donnelly, A., Robinson, J.A., O’Halloran, J & Nairn, R. 2012. Climate change, Habitats and Birds. In Bird Habitats in Ireland. Nairn, R. & O’Halloran, J. The Collins Press, Dublin.

Merne, O.J. & Robinson, J.A. 2012. Estuaries and Coastal Lagoons. In Bird Habitats in Ireland. Nairn, R. & O’Halloran, J. The Collins Press, Dublin.

Robinson, J.A. 1991. Bird Report. In: Bishop Burton and its People. Hutton Press, Walkington.

Robinson, J.A. 2001. Common Tern Sterna hirundo. In A Summer Atlas of the Breeding Birds of County Durham.. K. Bowey & S. Westerberg (eds.) Durham Bird Club, Durham.

Robinson, J.A. 2005. Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula. In Bird Families of the World: Ducks, Geese and Swans J. Kear (ed.) Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Unpublished reports and theses:

Bareham, G., Knight, G., Robinson, J.A., Johnstone, I. & Colhoun, K. 2009. A review of the status and ecology of the chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax in Northern Ireland. RSPB, Belfast.

Bradbury, R., McDevitt, A-M., Robinson, J., Stone, R., Adderton, I. & Macdonald, R. 2006. Monitoring the success of Countryside Management Scheme options in attracting wintering Yellowhammers in Northern Ireland. Unpubl. RSPB report to EHS, Belfast.

Bradbury, R., Mawhinney, K., Barnett, C., McDevitt, A-M., Muir, I. & Robinson, J. 2006. Monitoring the impact of the Countryside Management Scheme on behaviour and breeding populations of Yellowhammers and other red-listed farmland bird species in Northern Ireland. Unpubl. RSPB report to EHS, Belfast.

Colhoun, K., Johnstone, I. & Robinson, J. 2009. A trial of hooded crow and fox removal to benefit breeding curlew in Northern Ireland. RSPB, Belfast.

Ferry, C., Tickner, M., Robson, B. & Robinson, J.A. 2007. Potential Ornithological ASSIs in Northern Ireland: Part I – Breeding Seabirds. Unpubl. RSPB report to EHS, Belfast.

Ferry, C., Michell, H., Robinson, J.A. & Tickner, M. 2008.Potential Ornithological ASSIs in Northern Ireland: Part II – Wintering Waterbirds. Unpubl. RSPB report to EHS, Belfast.

Lynas, P., Ferry, C., Robinson, J.A. & Woulahan, G. 2008. Rebuilding the Countryside: Scoping the Opportunities for Large-scale Habitat Restoration in Northern Ireland, Phase 1. Unpubl. RSPB Report to EHS, Belfast.

NATURA Consultants & Robinson, J.A. 2003. All-Ireland review of intertidal Eel-grass (Zostera) beds. Unpubl. report to the Heritage Council. NATURA Consultants, Wicklow.

Robinson, J.A. 1994. Aspects of the pre-migratory foraging behaviour of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) on Seal Sands, Teesmouth, N.E. England. Unpublished BSc. Diss., University of Durham.

Robinson, J.A. 1997. Tern chick growth rates, provisioning rates and breeding success - research and monitoring. Durham University Report to Northumbrian Water.

Robinson, J.A. 1999. The comparative breeding ecology of sympatric Common and Arctic Terns in N.E. England. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Durham.

Robinson, J.A. 1999. Migration and morphometrics of the Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator in northern Eurasia and the implications for conservation of this species in Britain and Ireland. WWT Report to JNCC.

Robinson, J.A. 2001. Annan WWTW Environmental Assessment: results of waterbird monitoring November 1999-December 2000 and changes in waterbird distribution since the beginning of construction. Wetland Advisory Service report to West of Scotland Water.

Robinson, J.A. 2002a. Eastern Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Research Programme: Final Report, winter 2001/02. WWT report to EHS/NPWS, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A. 2002b. East Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Research Programme. Final Report 2001/02. WWT report to EHS/Dúchas.

Robinson, J.A. 2002c. Flyways of the East Canadian Light-bellied Brent Goose. WWT report to the National Geographic Society.

Robinson, J.A. 2003. Eastern Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Research Programme: Progress Report, winter 2002/02. WWT report to EHS/NPWS, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A. 2004a. East Canadian High Arctic Light-bellied Brent Goose Research Programme. Final Report 2002/03. WWT report to EHS/NPWS.

Robinson, J.A. 2006. An environmental protection agency for Northern Ireland: building the best model. Unpubl. report produced for the Coalition for Environmental Protection.

Robinson, J.A. & Hughes, B. 2002. International Species Review: Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca. WWT Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Hamer, K.C. & Evans, P.R. 1996. Monitoring the effects of new Northumbrian Water sewage disposal schemes on the marine environment along the Northumbrian, Durham and Cleveland coast. Durham University Report to Northumbrian Water.

Robinson, J.A., Hamer,K.C. & Evans, P.R. 1999. Monitoring the effects of improved sewage disposal schemes on the breeding performance of terns (Sterna sp.) breeding in Northeast England. Durham University Report to Northumbrian Water.

Robinson, J.A., Mitchell, C., Hughes, B. & Cranswick, P.A. 1999. Anatidae Productivity Monitoring in the UK: a review of methodologies and recommendations for an Integrated Population Monitoring Strategy. WWT internal report, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Hughes, B., Cranswick, P.A., Sellers, R.M. & Ekins, G.R. 2000. Proposals for the long-term monitoring of Cormorants, Goosanders and Red-breasted Mergansers. WWT Report to English Nature.

Robinson, J.A., Kershaw, M., Thomas, R. & Storey, G. 2003. WeBS Pilot Riverine Survey 2000-2001: data analysis and recommendations for national survey design. WWT, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Colhoun, K., Boland, H. & Crowe, O. 2004a. All-Ireland Review of Human Activities at Internationally Important Sites for Light-bellied Brent Geese: Part 1. WWT/I-WeBS, Slimbridge.

Robinson, J.A., Winfield, I.J., Yallop, M., Harris, G, Gill, J. & O'Connell, M.J. 2004b. Quantifying the effects of recreational disturbance on waterbirds: First year Progress Report. WWT, Slimbridge.

Robinson, L.S., Mawhinney, K. & Robinson, J.A. 2006. Lagan Valley Regional Park Bird Survey 2005/06: Final Report. Unpubl. RSPB report to LVRP.

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust. 2001. Integrated population monitoring of wildfowl. Unpubl. report to JNCC and the Country Agencies.

WWT Wetlands Advisory Service (author). 2003. An assessment of the effect on over-wintering ducks of recreation at the Wraysbury and Thorpe Park pits within the SW London Waterbodies Special Protection Area. WWT, Slimbridge.