Keynote speakers

Professor Carolyn King, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Carolyn (known to friends as Kim) studied at Liverpool University and at Oxford. Her DPhil was the first full-length field study of the ecology of British weasels. In 1971 she emigrated to New Zealand to join DSIR Ecology Division as a scientist specialising on introduced predators. Her research started with stoats and wild house mice, and later added feral ferrets and ship rats. Between 1977 and 1994, when family concerns took priority, she wrote papers and edited scientific journals for the Royal Society of New Zealand. Her two best-known books, The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats (1989) and The Handbook of New Zealand Mammals (1990), began then, and both went into second editions with Oxford University Press (in 2007 and 2005 respectively). A recent addition was The Drama of Conservation (Springer Verlag, 2015), a comprehensive history of a tree-sitting protest that ended the logging of native forest in Pureora Forest Park, and thence throughout New Zealand. From 1995 to 2018 she taught zoology and conservation biology at Waikato University, where she now continues writing full time. Her current book with Palgrave Macmillan is part of their series Studies in World Environmental History, and is entitled Invasive predators in New Zealand: Disaster on Four Small Paws. She received the Silver Medal of the Mammal Society in 2005, and was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2018.


Dr Miguel Clavero, Doñana Biological Station, Spain

Miguel  is a researcher at the Doñana Biological Station – CSIC, based in Sevilla, Spain. He has worked in several research lines involving a variety of organisms (freshwater fish, crayfish, mammals, birds, freshwater mussels), which share the focus on the responses of populations and communities to landscape gradients and human impacts and on biodiversity conservation. Some of his main interests include invasion processes and their impacts, the conservation of Mediterranean freshwater ecosystems and the description of long-term species distribution changes and their causes based on the analysis of historical sources. He did his PhD on the ecology of coastal populations of the Eurasian otter, and has kept working on this species since then (and occasionally on other aquatic or semiaquatic mustelids), mainly in the Iberian Peninsula and Morocco, analysing the variability in otter presence and trophic habits at different spatial scales.


Dr Tiit Maran, Tallin Zoological Gardens, Estonia

Tiit is the director of the Tallinn Zoological Gardens in Estonia. He completed his PhD on the conservation biology of the European mink, investigating the cause of the decline and extinction of mink populations. He has also worked at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WILDCRU) at Oxford University and was an associate professor at the Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University. For many years, Tiit has been involved in captive breeding initiatives and reintroduction programmes for European mink. Notably, Tiit has worked on the reintroduction of captive-bred mink to Hiiumaa island in Estonia where since 2000, almost 600 mink have been released and monitored extensively. He is also a member of the IUCN small carnivore specialist group and has contributed to the assessment of several mustelid species for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Dr Fernando Ascensão, Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c), University of Lisbon, Portugal

Fernando is a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes (cE3c) at the University of Lisbon. He holds a PhD from Lisbon University and a Masters from Évora University, both in Conservation Biology. His work is focused on landscape ecology, particularly road ecology. His research involves investigating the biology, population dynamics, genetic isolation and the behaviour of various wildlife species and groups, and also finding solutions that enable a sustainable coexistence between roads and wildlife. He is currently researching mustelids and roads.