Beckie George

PhD Researcher

Beckie holds a BSc in Environmental Biology from the University of Nottingham (2020) and an MSc in Island Biodiversity & Conservation with a Dean’s Commendation for Exceptional Performance from the University of Exeter (2021). For both her undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations she undertook ornithological research with conservation implications which helped form an interest in the relationship between avian conservation and land use. For her undergraduate dissertation she was awarded the Campbell Scientific Prize from the Board of the School of Biosciences for the best dissertation containing elements of environmental instrumentation, measurement, and mathematical modelling.

After gaining her MSc, Beckie gained experience as a Rewilding Officer at an organic farm turned rewilding project. During this time, she researched the current changes in agricultural policy and the implications this would have for the rewilding project, both ecologically and financially. She also established communication channels with other local farmers looking to tackle the biodiversity and climate change crises on their land. This position solidified an interest in the link between biodiversity conservation research to society and broader issues around policy and people.

Beckie’s project is titled ‘Designing a future UK landscape to assist British bird conservation’. She will be exploring how to maximise synergies between climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation in the UK, using birds as indicators. Specifically, she will be analysing the evidence provided by the British Trust for Ornithology’s Breeding Bird Survey. The project relates to decisions about land use management and land use change in the UK, and seeks to explore potential alignment of conservation policies, including agricultural policies, with net zero targets. Therefore, the project has implications for addressing the climate and biodiversity crises together, as greater understanding of the two in tandem will help reduce their separation within policy frameworks.