Proponents of science-based biodiversity conservation

Biography of David Anthony Kirk PhDDavid Kirk

Growing up near the marshes and woods of rural Norfolk, England, David developed a lifelong interest in nature conservation early in life.  He has been hooked on wild things and places since he was eight years old, when he discovered a roost of 30 Short-eared Owls near his beloved ancestral home.  Most of his youth was spent rehabilitating birds of prey, sketching and painting wildlife, recording observations of animals and plants in nature diaries, volunteering at local nature reserves, and working on farms during harvest.

David KirkFor his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, David studied the impact of an introduced hare on seabirds and rare endemic landbirds on Cousin Island, an idyllic paradise in the Seychelles.  Following graduation with first class honours in 1981, he completed a Masters degree in Conservation at University College London in 1983.  For his thesis work, he again took the opportunity to travel overseas, this time to the gem of Djebel Ichkeul in northern Tunisia, to evaluate human impacts on maquis vegetation.  He then went to the Shetland Isles for a year to study Black Guillemots as a research assistant.  In 1984, he won a scholarship for a PhD at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.  His doctoral research focused on vultures and included two years of intensive study at a Smithsonian research base in the Llanos of Venezuela.

David KirkAfter completing his PhD in 1988, David moved with his family to Canada and began contract work with the Canadian Wildlife Service, studying the habitat requirements of Neotropical migrant birds in their tropical winter homes.  Since 1989, he has been a consulting research ecologist, primarily with the Canadian government (Environment Canada and the Parks Canada Agency), but also with conservation organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.  He has published more than 27 scientific papers on a wide variety of topics in the last 20 years (see Publications). 



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