Ian’s professional journey as an ecologist started when he was researching migratory shorebirds staging in subarctic James Bay, a critical bottleneck for many migratory water bird species moving to and from the Arctic to breed. His research gradually moved southward, tracking mammal populations through the boreal forest, before ending up in Central America where he worked with the Sandinista government to protect the remaining vestiges of Caribbean rainforests. His dedication resulted in the establishment of the Rio Indio Maíz Biological Reserve in Nicaragua.
He holds a degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Guelph and has held leadership positions in wildlife, nature, and bird conservation organizations throughout North, South, and Central America, and the Caribbean.
For over a decade, Ian worked from Quito, Ecuador and led BirdLife International’s conservation projects throughout the region, including in Patagonia, the Galapagos, the Amazon basin, and across the pampas. Working with local and Indigenous peoples, his job entailed supporting BirdLife’s partners in their efforts to conserve these valuable ecosystems. It was during this time that he first met Graeme Gibson and Margaret Atwood on a 2007 Adventure Canada expedition throughout northern Canada and Greenland and fell in love with the High Arctic.
Ian returned to North America to head up Nature Canada, before taking a short sabbatical in Washington D.C. Last year, Ian returned to BirdLife International as their Regional Director of the Americas.
Ian is crazy about birds (but is not a twitcher), loves to travel, and embraces the many cultures that make up the Americas.