David Thomson has been interested in science and the natural world from an early age. This led him to study Zoology, at Aberdeen University, and then on to a PhD in the Division of Environmental and Evolutionary Biology at Glasgow University. After that he worked as a Quantitative Ecologist at the British Trust for Ornithology, where the long-term data collected by citizen scientists made it possible to study large-scale environmental issues. From there he moved to the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, again working with citizen science networks throughout Europe. He then took up the role of Forschungsgruppenleiter (‘Research Group Leader‘) at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, managing a research programme on Evolutionary Biodemography. This led on to academic appointments, firstly at the University of Hong Kong, and then at the United Arab Emirates University.
David is interested in how wildlife populations respond and adapt in changing environments. He likes to work across disciplines, combining ideas, approaches, concepts and insights from ecology, demography, statistics, mathematics, climatology, and physiology. He has become especially interested in the impacts of climate change in hot regions, and in how quantitative analytical approaches can be applied to the large-scale, long-term data of citizen scientists. David is currently enjoying an extended sabbatical on an idyllic Mediterranean island, 380km off the northern coast of Africa, where he is pondering the big environmental and development issues facing the World today.