Mike served previously as UKOTCF Chairman 1995-2009 and Honorary Executive Director 2009-16. He believes that the Forum’s main challenges are: to help its territory partners both to secure local understanding of the value of wildlife and heritage and to conserve this; to raise awareness in UK and achieve a proper level of funding from UK Government for conservation in UK territories; and to secure adequate resourcing for the work of UKOTCF and its partners. Tremendous progress has been made in these areas but much remains to be done. He considers that, to achieve this, UKOTCF needs to remain engaged with its member organisations at all levels from policy to on-the-ground projects. To this end, Mike donates most of his time to running the organisation on a voluntary basis.

He has been involved in research and conservation for over 50 years, and in UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies for over 20 years. Early research and conservation work was on waders (shorebirds): organiser and leader of the Cambridge-London Iceland Expedition 1970, the University of East Anglia (UEA) Expedition to Morocco 1971, and the UEA Expedition to Tarfaya 1972, to study migration systems and conservation requirements of coastal birds; joint organiser, scientific co-ordinator and leader of advance party and base-camp team for Joint Biological Expedition to NE Greenland 1974; Chairman of international conference in the Ukraine in 1992, resulting in the Odessa Protocol on international co-operation on migratory flyway research and conservation.

He has worked in: applied research (e.g. Durham University 1973-1984; Executive Editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology 1994-9); governmental conservation (e.g. Head of Ornithology Department and Assistant Chief Scientist of the Nature Conservancy Council 1984-91; Head of the Implementation Team (1990-1) and first Director of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee 1991-5;

amongst other initiatives: established and managed the successful programme to re-introduce red kites to England and Scotland;

Co-Chairman of international conference on lead-poisoning in wetlands, Brussels 1991; and Chairman of UK Government's group to end the use of gunshot lead in wetlands); and the voluntary sector (e.g. Head of International Legislation & Funding Department, RSPB 1995-1997; Director, European Forum on Nature Conservation & Pastoralism 1998-2001; and voluntary roles as Vice-President & Council Member of the British Ornithologists' Union (1991-2003),

WWF-UK, Member of Programme Committee (1992-2002)

Council of the British Ecological Society (1993-1999), Council of Wetlands International (1988-1998), member of Environment Committee of the Institute of Petroleum (1994-5), Vice-President, Advisory Committee on Agriculture & Environment to Directorate-General Agriculture of the European Commission (1999-2001);

Member the UK Executive Committee of IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) (2006-present); Member of Expert Panel advising the Minister in the UK Department of Culture, Media & Sport on UK’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites (2010-11).

He has managed projects in support of several of the UKOTs as well as cross-territory ones, e.g. facilitator to the Governments of the Turks & Caicos Islands and of St Helena on the development of pilot strategies to implement the Environment Charters, with advice given in this regard also to the Falkland Islands, Ascension, Pitcairn, Alderney and others; and undertaken some commissions, for example for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Consultant to UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to review actual and potential Ramsar Convention Wetlands of International Importance in UK Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies (2004-5); Expert consultant to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (e.g. Ramsar Advisory Mission report 46: https://www.ramsar.org/sites/default/files/documents/library/ram46e_germany_muhlenberger.pdf) (2001-2).

External Examiner, University of Durham BSc degrees in Environmental Sciences  (1995-1999); higher degree examiner or consultant for the Universities of Simon Fraser (Vancouver), Cape Town, Durham, Anglia and Wales.