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IWSG Banner. Photos by Jan van der Kam and Simon Gillings

Introducing the members of the Executive Committee

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Yvonne Verkuil Chair ~ Yvonne Verkuil (Netherlands)
Yvonne joined the ExCo in 2007 and has been a member of the WSG since she started to study stopover ecology of Red Knots with Theunis Piersma in 1990. Since then the wader world has sucked her in and she has studied the stopover behaviour of a variety of waders.
Ole Thorup Vice-Chairman ~ Ole Thorup (Denmark)
Being among my favourite birds since I started birding as a kid in the late 1960es, I started working with shorebirds at Tipperne, Denmark in 1981. Since then my main topic has been breeding meadowbirds and grassland management in Denmark and the Baltic. A breeding biology study of the endangered Baltic Dunlin was begun in 1987 and is still active. In the past I also studied breeding Arctic shorebirds in northern Sweden, Norway and NE Greenland. I became a member of the EXCO in 1993, Project Coordinator of the group 1996-2008 and compiled the publication Breeding Waders in Europe 2000 1997-2004. Now working as a freelancer in a small consultancy company (Amphi).
General Secretary ~ Gregor Scheiffarth (Germany)
After working on breeding Oystercatchers for some years, Gregor switched to stopover ecology of Bar-tailed Godwits in the Wadden Sea for his PhD. His major interests lay in foraging ecology, migration ecology, and ecosystem processes. Gregor joined the Wader Study Group in 1991 and became General Secretary in 2004.
Treasurer ~ David Turner (UK)
David was co-opted onto ExCo at the end of 2007 to take over as treasurer from the AGM in October 2008. An enthusiastic amateur, David is leader of the Humber Wader Ringing Group on the east coast of the UK, concentrating on the relationship between feeding and roosting sites on the estuary. Information and data provided by the group will contribute to the overall monitoring of the estuary with particular relevance to key environmental and industrial/commercial developments
Membership Secretary ~ Julia Karagicheva (Russia/USA)
Julia became Membership Secretary in 2011.
Pedro Lourenco Publicity Officer ~ Pedro Lourenço (Spain)
Pedro joined the ExCo in 2007, currently being part of the editorial board of the Bulletin and collaborating with Rodney West as publicity officers for the IWSG. He started working with waders at the University of Lisbon, studying the diurnal and nocturnal ecology of waders in the Tejo estuary. Since 2006 he has been working towards his PhD at the University of Groningen, studying the migratory and breeding ecology of the Black-tailed Godwit.
IWSG-Wetlands International Liaison Officer ~ David Stroud (UK)
Humphrey Sitters Editor, Wader Study Group Bulletin ~ Humphrey Sitters (UK)
Humphrey has edited the Bulletin since 2001. For 25 years he tried to combine his interest in waderology with being a lawyer, but in 1990 gave up the unequal struggle and is today involved in a variety of wader studies. These have included the non-breeding ecology of Dunlins and Oystercatchers in England, waders in NW Australia, plus Knots, Turnstones and Sanderlings in the West Atlantic flyway. He is slightly ashamed that he has spent so much time on well-studied species because he often says that more attention should be given to the world's "obscure" waders. That is why he is happy that the photo shows him holding a Magellanic Oystercatcher, one of the least known of the world's oystercatchers, in Tierra del Fuego.
Piet van den Hout Interim Editor, IWS ~ Piet van den Hout (Netherlands)
Piet is interim Editor of International Wader Studies, the IWSG's series of 'special publications'.
Jutta Leyrer Conference Coordinator ~ Jutta Leyrer (Australia)
Jutta joined ExCo in 2007 as Conference Coordinator to provide general assistance to hosts of the annual IWSG conferences. She did her PhD on the timing of northward migration of a long-distance migrant wader, the Red Knot, at the NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research) and the University of Groningen. Her project allowed her to spend several months each year in West Africa's most important wintering area for waders, the Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania, then following the Knots to their stopover site on the French Atlantic coast and the German Wadden Sea. Recently she has switched flyways and hemispheres and studies the "wintering" behaviour of waders in Australia at Deakin University, Geelong.
Simon Gillings Projects Coordinator ~ Simon Gillings (UK)
Since counting them on the Wash for the Birds of Estuaries Enquiry, Simon has been interested in waders. He works at the British Trust for Ornithology on a range of projects including the 2007-11 Bird Atlas, habitat and population studies of Golden Plovers and Lapwings, and stopover ecology of Red Knot. Simon joined the ExCo in 2007 and sits on the editorial board of the Bulletin and acted as IWSG Webmaster until 2010.
Colour-mark Coordinator (Scheme issuing) ~ Jim Wilson (Norway)
My interest in waders was awakened by the Merseyside Ringing Group in 1965-1968 when we began marking waders on the Dee Estuary. At the same time I became a member of the Wash Wader Ringing Group and in 1972 a member of the Wader Study Group. In the 1970s I was involved in the Iceland and Mauritanian expeditions. I took my Masters on the breeding ecology of waders on the Hebrides in 1976. I worked on and off with waders for the next twenty years. In 1996 I moved to Australia and I worked full time on waders and wetlands there for five years. I was also chairman of the Australasian Wader Study Group from 1998 to 2001, and in that capacity I first came onto the ExCo. By profession I am a Civil Engineer and still work in the construction industry and thus I am one of the last of the amateurs.
Colour-mark Coordinator (Sightings) ~ Simon Feys (Belgium)
Simon started serious birding in 1996, and read his first colour-ring (a Shag from Scotland) in 2001. Since that moment, he has been a dedicated ring-reader and has taken the first steps to become a ringer himself. For the IWSG, he has been the SPEX for Dunlin and Black-winged stilt for some years now, and will continue doing this. In his professional career, he works for the Belgian Research Institute for Nature and Forest where he investigates the effects of agro-measures on farmland birds. Simon took over the coordination of the IWSG-sightings-inbox from Henk van Huffelen in 2013.
Patricia González (Argentina)
Jannik Hansen Jannik Hansen (Denmark)
Jannik joined the ExCo in 2007. In 1998 he started his first wader work; a masters thesis on the breeding strategy of the Purple Sandpiper in Svalbard. Next he worked as a fieldworker on a Lapwing breeding biology study in Sweden. Currently he is employed by the National Environmental Research Institute, University of Aarhus in Denmark, working with ecological monitoring (incl. waders) at Zackenberg in Norhteast Greenland.
Magdalena Remisiewicz Magdalena Remisiewicz (Poland)
Magda has been in the ExCo since 2004 and is a member of the Editorial board of the WSG Bulletin. She is a ringer of the WRG KULING, works at the University of Gdansk and ADU at the University of Cape Town. Magda coordinates project Tringa glareola 2000, her research focuses on migration and moult strategies of waders.
Pavel Tomkovich Pavel Tomkovich (Russia)
Pavel is getting to be an ancient member of the ExCo being first elected in 1992. Since then he fulfils a link between the IWSG and wader enthusiasts of several countries of the former USSR as a chairman of the Working Group on Waders in CIS. He functioned as a regional coordinator in several IWSG projects, coordinates the Arctic Birds Breeding Condition Survey initiated by the IWSG and is a member of the editorial board of the Bulletin. Pavel works for the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University having main interests in Arctic waders, mostly Calidridinae sandpipers.
Les Underhill (South Africa)
Nils Warnock Nils Warnock (USA)
Nils has been a member of the WSG since 1987. He joined the executive committee in 2008 as a North American representative and sits on the editorial board of the WSGB. He oversaw the Wetlands Division of PRBO Conservation Science from 2000 – 2008. Presently, Nils is the Executive Director of Audubon Alaska located in Anchorage, AK. Current shorebird research focuses on migration of Pacific Basin shorebirds.
Mark Collier (NL)
Mark ran the IWSG Colour-mark Register from 2003-2009 and became a member of ExCo in 2008. Mark's experience of ringing waders began in the UK and continued through volunteering in projects in Iceland, France, USA and the Netherlands. He has previously worked for the BTO, both in the Ringing Unit and the Wetland and Coastal Ecology Unit. Mark now lives in the Netherlands where he works as an ecologist for Bureau Waardenburg.
Gone but not forgotten ~ For details of former ExCo members, click here.
IWSG ~ shorebird research and conservation

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