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People Professor David Macdonald CBE DSc FRSE

Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Natural Governance


Professor of Wildlife Conservation

Professor David Macdonald CBE DSc FRSE is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) in the Department of Zoology, which he founded in 1986. He researches aspects of fundamental biology relevant to solving practical problems of wildlife conservation and environmental management, and thus to underpin policy formation and public debate of the many issues that surround the conservation of wildlife and its habitats.

He has published over 800 papers in refereed international journals, and written or edited more than a dozen books. His research developed from spatial aspects of carnivore social behaviour, including long-term studies of badgers, lions and Ethiopian wolves, to embrace highly inter-disciplinary approaches to conservation biology.

He has published two taxonomically-based volumes that consolidate much of his research on carnivores: 2004 The Biology and Conservation of Wild Canids, 2010 The Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids and a third, The Biology and Conservation of Wild Musteloids is underway. Two volumes cover Key Topics in Conservation Biology, 2007 and 2013. His most recent book Wildlife Conservation on Farmland 2015 is a synthesis of WildCRU’s work on British wildlife over the last 25 years.

David was awarded a CBE for services to natural sciences in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2010 and the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education in acknowledgement of WildCRU’s outstanding work in wildlife and environmental conservation in 2011. In 2015 he was voted in the top three most influential conservationists by the BBC’s Wildlife Magazine.