Professor Bill Sutherland is the Miriam Rothschild Chair in Conservation Biology at the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, based in the David Attenborough building (Cambridge Conservation Initiative). He is interested in conservation generally, but particularly in how we can make decision-making for conservation action more effective. Bill initiated and runs Conservation Evidence, an ongoing project to provide evidence to inform and improve conservation practice. We spoke to him to get his views on the current challenges facing the conservation sector, the need for conservation to be based on the best available evidence and his reasons for optimism.
What first attracted you to conservation?
There’s a park next to my primary school, and I was at an after-school event there – I must have been around 9 or 10 – when I saw a curious looking bird on the pond next to the school.