Wilding, managing or mollycoddling? An evidence-based approach to restoring nature

Prof. Bill Sutherland CBE, University of Cambridge


There are a range approaches to conservation ranging from intensive to minimal intervention. I will argue that we need a mix for different situations. I will show how conservation could be more effective if evidence was embedded into practice – as shown by the huge improvements in medicine and aircraft safety. I will discuss some of the ideas in this book produced by a team of us and out a couple of months ago. Transforming Conservation: a practical guide to evidence and decision making


Professor Bill Sutherland holds the Miriam Rothschild Chair of Conservation Biology in the Zoology Department and is a professorial Fellow in the College. He has written seven books and edited another five. He started as a birdwatcher and his main research interest has been in combining field observations of behaviour with theoretical models to predict the consequences of environmental change, such as changes in agricultural practice and climate change. His main current interests involve collaborating with policy makers to improve global conservation practice. This includes identifying environmental issues that have attracted insufficient attention using horizon scanning, collaborating with practitioners to identify the key knowledge gaps and establishing evidence-based conservation as a standard approach. He regularly provides advice to government and practitioners.

He teaches ecology and conservation biology.  He also teaches on the Masters in Public Policy and Masters in Conservation Leadership courses.

William Sutherland