Professor Bill Sutherland

at Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge

Miriam Rothschild Professor in Conservation Biology, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge
Associate Fellow, Centre for Science and Policy

"We are interested in developing new ways of integrating science and policy and aim to change practice. CSaP, through their enjoyable events and extensive contacts, provides excellent opportunities to develop and test these ideas."

Professor William Sutherland is the Miriam Rothschild Professor in Conservation Biology, in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. His research area is Population and Community Ecology, and he also has wide interests in conservation biology. He is especially interested in predicting the impacts of environmental change, particularly on bird populations. Some of this work combines field data and models while other work is purely based on field work. While much of his work has been in the UK, he has been involved in many projects elsewhere in the world and welcomes suggestions for collaborations.

Another major theme is using evidence-based conservation to collate experience of the effectiveness of interventions (via the website and then use this evidence to advise practice. He hopes that this will eventually revolutionise global conservation practice.

For Bill's tips to policy makers on interpreting scientific claims, see his paper published in Nature in November 2013 here:

  • Projects

    40 Key Research Questions on Science and Policy

    The CSaP Science and Policy Studies Group is running an ambitious programme to identify key questions on the relationship between science and policy.

  • Projects

    The European Biodiversity Observation Network

    A major new European Commission funded project on biodiversity science and policy, undertaken by a consortium of 30 partners from 18 countries.

  • 6 February 2024, 4pm

    Nature recovery networks

    In partnership with National Highways, CSaP organised a Policy Workshop on Nature recovery netwoeks and habitat connectivity in the UK. You can download the report from our website.

  • 18 January 2024, 5:30pm

    2024 Christ's Climate Lecture: On nature, biodiversity and climate - Sir Patrick Vallance

    The 2024 Christ's College Climate lecture was given by Sir Patrick Vallance, Chair of The Natural History Museum, and former Chief Scientific Adviser. His lecture explores the inextricably linked challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change.

  • In news articles

    Government decision-making

    As part of CSaP’s seminar series on government’s use of data, science and evidence, Bill Sutherland, Miriam Rothschild Professor in Conservation Biology, Department of Zoology, Cambridge, shared his perspective on the use of evidence and experts’ advice in decision making, drawing on his research which looked at weaknesses in conventional models of expert elicitation.

  • In news articles

    Synthesising Compelling Evidence: Insights for Early Career Researchers

    On the 9th of March, NERC-funded doctoral students attended the second workshop session in a two-part professional development programme hosted by the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP). The objective of this session was to give PhD students hands-on experience of delivering scientific advice to policymakers. Students were divided into groups and asked to produce policy briefings to be judged by a panel featuring Professor Sir David King, Professor Bill Sutherland and Sam Reed. This exercise was accompanied by presentations exploring speakers’ career trajectories in academia and policy.