Keynote speakers

Prof. Dr Rory Putman


Professor and Emeritus Chair in Behavioural and Environmental Biology, Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Professor at University of Glasgow and University of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Critical challenges facing the current and future management of ungulate populations and impacts – a personal perspective


About the Talk

Management of populations of large ungulates and their impacts has long been challenging - and the challenges don’t get any less!  Increased urbanisation of human populations has led to the abandonment of marginal agricultural lands; in many countries, there are additional, deliberate Government policies for increasing the extent of woodland cover to increase carbon sinks. Consequently, across Europe and most of North America, ungulate populations are growing, and of course; as a result, negative impacts are also more widespread. The number of road traffic accidents resulting from collisions with vehicles is increasing; there are increasing reports on damage to crops; all those new woodlands being created need protection from damage by browsers; conservationists increasingly call for reduced impacts of grazing and trampling on vulnerable or protected habitats, and the expansion of urban areas has itself led to increased urbanisation of ungulate as well as human populations leading to additional conflict.

All these factors increase the need for management, while in practice, management capacity is falling - especially in those countries where game management systems rely heavily on the activities of volunteer recreational hunters. Increasingly, as a direct consequence of the greater urbanisation of human populations and changing demographics, the number of recreational hunters is declining in many countries – and the hunter population is significantly ageing, so that management capacity is diminishing at a time when the need for effective management is increasing. Further complicating the issue (and perhaps another consequence of increased urbanisation of human populations) is a significant increase in public opposition to lethal control and increased pressure for a shift towards other control methods – whether through contraception of ungulate populations or through the physical protection of vulnerable crops.

About the speaker

From 1976 to 1993, I have led the highly-regarded Deer Management Research Group at the University of Southampton – a unit specialising in studies of the behaviour and ecology of deer in the UK and overseas and their impacts on agriculture forestry and conservation habitats. Our research always had the specific aim of utilising that improved understanding to help inform more effective and innovative ways of managing both deer populations and their impacts. With the same motivation of using a better scientific understanding of the behaviour, ecology and population ecology of wild ungulates to improve management practice,  I left academic life in 1994 to set up in practice as an independent ecological consultant. Over this period, I have again mainly worked with wildlife Management issues, both in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, in helping to find practical solutions where there is a conflict between management of deer or other ungulates and their impacts  - on agriculture, forestry and conservation interests, or concerning issues of public safety (implication of deer and other ungulates in road traffic accidents or transmission of diseases to humans and/or their livestock).

Alongside this consultancy work in Britain and Europe, I was appointed, in 1996, Professor of Behavioural and Environmental Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU); I retain an Emeritus Chair at MMU as well as a Visiting Professorship at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine at the University of Glasgow, and until recently held a Visiting Professorship in Wildlife Management and Wildlife Welfare in the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. This continuing connection with academic institutions has put me in the unusual position of operating both as a practitioner and a research academic, enabling me to keep up to date with the latest research developments in both biology and applied management science to offer a perfect complement to an extensive personal experience as a practitioner.

Professional Work

Professor Putman published 16 books related to ecology and wildlife management and over 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters; I continue to publish in peer-reviewed and popular literature regularly. Together with Professor Marco Apollonio (University of Sassari, Italy) and Professor Reidar Anderson (University of Tromso, Norway), he acted as the lead instigator in a Europe-wide programme reviewing experience in 36 EU countries on the status and distribution of ungulate populations, current management methods and traditions, problems encountered from deer and other ungulates in terms of impacts on agriculture, forestry or conservation habitats and the extent to which current management methods may be addressing those problems. This project has resulted in three major published books :

Apollonio, M., Andersen, R., and Putman, R.J. (eds.) (2010)  European Ungulates and their Management in the 21st century;

Putman, R.J., Apollonio, M. and Andersen, R. (eds.) (2011) Ungulate Management in Europe: Problems and Practices (both books published by Cambridge University Press)

and Putman, R.J. and Apollonio, M. (eds.)  (2014) Behaviour and Management of European Ungulates, Whittles Publishing, Dunbeath, Scotland.


Prof. Dr Carol L. Chambers 

Professor of Wildlife Ecology, PhD in Wildlife Sciences with a minor in Forest Science (Oregon State University)

The importance of diversity


About the Talk

What if biologists chose to study only one animal species in the world? Despite gaining a tremendous understanding of the animal, this species would define our knowledge of all other species. Everything we identified about behaviour, diet, disease, evolution, habitat use, physiology, and reproduction would be focused through the lens of a single species. As biologists, we recognise this is a ridiculous proposition. Why, then, should we be any less concerned about representing the full range of human qualities and attributes in our profession? A variety of genders, ethnicities, sexual orientations, perspectives, areas of expertise, and cultures leads to better science. Increases in productivity, creativity, and quality rise when women and underrepresented groups participate. Problem solving and collaboration among groups of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences lead to more innovative outcomes. Various groups of people raise different questions; questions drive science, and that moves science forward. For example, a Native American wildlife biologist who studied gene flow and population structure developed a non-invasive approach to sample DNA. She helped establish the practice of using faecal samples for DNA collection. Despite these and other examples, we struggle to ensure equal representation. We are drawn to people who are like us. What challenges do women and minorities face to entering and excelling in science? What are practical approaches to increase, recognise, and encourage contributions of diverse people into this profession? We must acknowledge our biases, create connections, take action, and be allies to underrepresented groups. Those in leadership roles can recruit and train women and minorities, foster an open work culture, mentor, encourage cross-job communication and nonhierarchical structures, make sure women and underrepresented minorities represent 15 to 30% of team members critical mass. We drive science forward when “we” represents all of us.

About the speaker

Carol Chambers grew up in the south-eastern United States, loving the outdoors and animals and wanting to find a career combining these. She majored in Biology at the University of Kentucky, hoping this would lead to a future as a veterinarian. After shadowing a vet, however, she decided to work with wild animals was a better fit and would keep her outdoors. She completed her M.S. in Forestry at the University of Kentucky. Because this degree satisfied the outdoors part but didn’t accomplish the wildlife goal, she continued her education with a PhD in Wildlife Sciences at Oregon State University (OSU), minoring in Forest Science. After graduating, she started as an assistant professor of Wildlife Ecology at Northern Arizona University (NAU) School of Forestry. She studied habitat relationships of charismatic microfauna (bats, small mammals, diurnal breeding birds). While at OSU, she noticed how few women faculty worked in forestry and participated in meetings held by the one tenure-track woman faculty member (of 64). At NAU, she helped initiate similar gatherings for women students, then helped start a women’s network with The Wildlife Society called Women of Wildlife. She is currently a professor at NAU, President of The Wildlife Society (2020-2021). She is co-editing a book on Women in Wildlife Science: Building a Diverse Future targeting an audience of wildlife professionals, professors, and students in public and private sectors. She believes in diversity in the wildlife profession.

Professional Work



Prof. Dr Dilys Roe

Principal Researcher and Team Leader (Biodiversity) and Chair, IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Rethinking sustainable use of wildlife in a post Covid19 world

About the Talk

Sustainable use of biodiversity is one of three pillars of the Convention on Biological Diversity and a focus of the emerging Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. However, various forms of wildlife use have been challenged, particularly in the wake of COVID-19, with calls to ban wildlife trade and consumption due to pandemic risk. However, legal, sustainable wildlife use could contribute to post-COVID recovery, so we need to know what is both sustainable and safe. But how is sustainability measured? And where do issues such as human health and animal welfare fit in? This talk looks at some of the existing frameworks that are used to assess wildlife use, the dimensions of sustainability that these cover, and the gaps that need to be addressed if we want to support sustainable, legal, traceable forms of wildlife use, which provide clear benefits for biodiversity and livelihoods but which also mitigate the risks to human and animal health.

About the Speaker

Dilys Roe is  Chair of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group and Principal Researcher at the London-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED). She leads the Institute’s work on biodiversity and conservation. Her work focuses on the human dimensions of conservation – including understanding and supporting the necessary conditions for effective community-based conservation.

Dilys has a PhD in biodiversity management from the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology and the University of Kent. She is a member of the UK Government Darwin Expert Committee (DEC) and Illegal Wildlife Trade Advisory Group.


Péter Pál Hajas

About the speaker

Péter Pál Hajas has been active in farmland game conservation demonstration projects since 2004, mainly focusing on recovery and re-introduction of grey partridges. In order to bridge gaps between science and practice, he has proven himself in many fields, varying from the improvement of predation control techniques to the adoption of sustainable land use practices serving both ecological modernisation of farming and the conservation of farmland biodiversity. Since 2015 – based on inspiration from successful demonstrations of the GWCT, together with his involvement in the work of the Paying Agency as territorial branch office director of the Agricultural and Rural Development Agency (ARDA), and his experiences in scientific research at the Institute of Wildlife Management of the University of Sopron – he is transforming his family farm around Kozárd, Nógrád county, Hungary to showcase that harmony between farming, wildlife management and conservation is more than achievable.