Executive Committee

The IWSG is run by a group of volunteers distributed around the globe and with a wealth of experience in wader research and conservation issues. We operate under the rules set out in our constitution.

Click here for a list of former members of ExCo

Chair IWSG ~ Jennifer Smart (UK)


Jen joined ExCo in 2019, but has been part of the Wader Study Group family since 1999. She is the IWSG Chair since October 2020.

She did her PhD on breeding redshanks. For the last 15 years she has been with the RSPB, where as part of the science team, she was working on solutions to reverse the declines of waders breeding in wetlands. She is now RSPB Head of Conservation Science for Scotland & Northern Ireland where she manages a large team of scientists working on a diverse range of project across those countries fortunately some of the species work is on waders so she remains involved in important conservation programmes for curlews, black-tailed godwits, redshank, lapwing, oystercatcher and ringed plovers. When not working she is usually out on her bike or out with the spaniels.

Vice-Chair ~ Jose Alves (Portugal)

General Secretary ~ Veronica Mendez Aragon (Portugal & Iceland)

Verónica joined ExCo in 2022 as General Secretary. Verónica’s first contact with waders was in 2009, when she decided to leave her job as conservation biologist in central America and start a PhD at the University of East Anglia (U.K.). She instantly fell in love with these amazing creatures and the outstanding community studying them! She currently works at the South Iceland Research Centre (University of Iceland), investigating (mostly) individual level responses to environmental changes and associated fitness outcomes in a population of Eurasian oystercatcher breeding in Iceland.

Treasurer ~ Emma Penning (Netherlands)

Emma takes over as treasurer in 2022. She did her master’s projects on waders and is currently writing her thesis on the foraging ecology of Sanderlings in the Wadden Sea.

Colour-mark Coordinator ~ Ryan Burrell (UK)

Ryan has been conducting research focusing on the applied ecology and conservation of European and North American waders for the past 10 years. Ryan worked in Canada on the James Bay shorebird project, investigating the stopover ecology of migrating arctic breeding waders. After which, he began work at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust as a research ecologist on the LIFE Waders for Real project, an EU-funded and farmer-led conservation project which successfully reversed the declining trends of breeding Lapwing and Redshank in the Avon Valley, Hampshire, UK. He is currently in the late stages of writing up his PhD at Bournemouth University, where he is exploring the interactions between protected avian predators and breeding waders and is the Director of the English Curlew Recovery Partnership.

Charlotte Francesiaz ~ Publicity Officer

Charlotte has a permanent position as researcher on migratory birds at the French Office of Biodiversity (OFB). She mainly leads research studies on shorebirds now but has a larger background in the field of ornithology and population dynamics. Her work is in between research and expertise, hoping her work could help taking science-based decisions to protect waterbirds. She is very active in promoting women in science (and any form of diversity) and has been selected for the program Homeward Bound to create an international network of women in STEM aiming at protecting our planet.Please don’t hesitate to correct my English…

Membership Secretary ~ Katharine Bowgen (UK)

Katharine Bowgen

Katharine joined the ExCo as interim Membership Secretary in 2017, and was formally elected in 2018. She currently works for the British Trust for Ornithology analysing data from wetland and marine bird projects. Her PhD looked into wading bird’s responses to environmental change on UK estuaries and developed predictive models to aid conservationists. Prior to this she worked as an field assistant around the world gaining insights into bird’s behavioural ecology and their conservation in different environmental circumstances.


Co-Editor-in-Chief, Wader Study ~ Jacquie Clark (UK)

Jacquie Clark

Jacquie is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Wader Study, and ex officio member of ExCo since April 2018. Jacquie has been captivated by waders since she was an undergraduate, has been a member of IWSG ever since and was on ExCo back in the 1980s.  She is an active member of the Wash Wader Ringing Group and enjoys wader ringing around the world. Her research has been focussed on the effects of cold weather on waders, as well as migration and moult. On deciding to quit paid work as Head of Ringing for BTO, she volunteered to get involved with IWSG again and became an editor, quickly morphing into co-Editor-in-Chief and consequently joining ExCo.  In addition to her editing duties, she is having great fun carrying out wader and other ornithological fieldwork, as well as trying to write all those papers there was never time for and finally finding (a bit of) time to work on the house.


Co-Editor-in-Chief, Wader Study ~ Jesse Conklin

Jesse is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Wader Study, and ex officio member of ExCo. 

Conference Co-ordinator ~ Delip K. Das (Bisharga: Bangladesh)

Delip K. Das (Bisharga) joined the ExCo in 2021 as Conference Coordinator. He immediately becomes a happy member of the Wader Study Group family, after his first attendance at the Workum conference, in the Netherlands in 2018.

He is from Bangladesh, now a Ph.D. student studying Black-tailed Godwits in the Conservation Ecology Group at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He became fascinated with the long-distance migration of shorebirds in 2010 when he volunteered for an expedition to search for the rare Spoon-billed Sandpiper on the southeast coast of Bangladesh. Later on, he joined as a Lecturer of Zoology at Jagannath University, Dhaka, in 2013 and directed his energy and enthusiasm to waterbird research focusing on winter ecology and habitat use of waterbirds (Indian Skimmer and shorebirds) in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna delta (central coast) of Bangladesh besides teaching.

Co-ordinator International Wader Studies ~ Vojtěch Kubelka (Czech Republic)


Vojtěch Kubelka

Vojtěch has been keen on shorebirds since 2007, when he renewed the Wader Study and Conservation Group (SVOB) in the Czech Republic. Then he became a member of IWSG in 2009 and a member of ExCo in 2014. Since 2018 he is the editor of International Wader Studies, the IWSG’s series of ‘special publications’. He is interested in the evolutionary ecology of shorebirds, field research, comparative analyses, science popularization and nature conservation. He defended his PhD: Significance of predation for breeding ecology and conservation in shorebirds at Charles University in Prague. Currently he is the Scientific Coordinator of ÉLVONAL SHOREBIRD SCIENCE, international project investigating sex role evolution in shorebirds.

Ordinary member ~ Jutta Leyrer (Germany)


Jutta joined ExCo in 2007, and was Conference Coordinator until 2015. 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. After that switched flyways and hemispheres and studied the “wintering” behaviour of waders in Australia at Deakin University, Geelong. In 2014 she returned to work on the Banc d’Arguin, Mauritania, and currently she is based at NABU, in Germany.

Ordinary member ~ Triin Kaasiku (Estonia)

Triin_2016_5298 - Copy

Triin Kaasiku

Triin joined the ExCo in 2015 and was Conference Coordinator until 2021. She is a PhD student in Biology at the University of Tartu, Estonia. Her main interests  are habitat requirements of meadowbirds, meadow management and seminatural habitats.

Projects Coordinator ~ Jannik Hansen (Denmark)

Jannik Hansen

Jannik joined the ExCo in 2007. In 1998 he started his first wader work; a master’s 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 at the Institute of Bioscience, University of Aarhus in Denmark, working with ecological monitoring (incl. waders) at Zackenberg in Northeast Greenland. He took over the role of Projects Coordinator in autumn 2014.

IWSG-Wetlands International Liaison Officer ~ David Stroud (UK)

Patricia González (Argentina)

Patricia_G._with_REKN_by_Guy_MorrisonPatricia is the representative for South America in ExCo.

Birgita Hansen (Australia)

Birgita Hansen

Birgita is the Treasurer of the Australasian Wader Studies Group, based in Australia. She is also a long-term member of the Victorian Wader Study Group and has extensive experience is wader studies including capture and monitoring. She recently led a team of researchers and wader experts in Australia to revise the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Population Estimates for 37 wader species listed under the Australian Government Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. She is currently running a research program on the ecology and migration of Latham’s Snipe, and collaborating with the Wild Bird Society of Japan to understand and document changes in population size and distribution. She is currently working as a Research Fellow in the Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation at Federation University in Ballarat, Victoria.

Gwenaël Quaintenne (France)

Gwenaël Quaintenne

Gwenaël joined ExCo in 2017. She is a general ExCo member and also Notes & News editor. In daily life Gwenaël is bird database program manager at LPO/BirdLife France.

Passionate about shorebirds, I had the great opportunity to study habitat choice of Red Knot Calidris canutus islandica (East Atlantic flyway) during my PhD carried out at the University of La Rochelle in France under the supervision of Dr. Pierrick Bocher and with the collaboration of the Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). Immersed in such enthusiastic and fanatical wader scientists, I was happy to have discovered the International Wader Study Group which brings together researchers and bird conservation organizations from all continents working on shorebird conservation research projects. After successive fixed-term contracts at the universities of La Rochelle and Nantes for studies on shorebirds, I now work at the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO), BirdLife France, as programme manager on bird databases at the Knowledge Service. From bird survey manager to data analyst, I work on various subjects: Rare and Endangered Breeding Bird Survey in France, assessment and reporting under Article 12 of the Birds Directive, assessment of overwintering waterbird population trends in France from Wetlands International census, etc. Through these programs and the IWSG, I continue to maintain my interest on Shorebirds sciences and conservation.

I joined the ExCo in 2017 as general ExCo member and also Notes & News editor. I welcome any news about shorebirds and their habitats that you wish to share with the readers of the Wader Study and IWSG members.

Eveling Tavera (Peru/Canada)

Eveling joined ExCo in September 2018. Eveling is the Chair of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group (WHSG). She is currently based at Simon Fraser University in Canada and at Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI) in Peru.