Buenos Aires, Argentina
Andrés Jorge Bosso is a renowned naturalist and conservation activist. He is currently the Regional Director for the Argentine National Parks Administration (Northeast Region) and lives in Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, 15 km from the Iguazú Falls.
For 15 years he has been the Executive Director of Aves Argentinas, the oldest conservation organization in Latin America, founded in 1916. He chaired the Committee of the Americas and serves on the Global Council of BirdLife International. He was the Vice President of the Forum for the Conservation of the Patagonian Sea and Areas of Influence.
He has been the Chief Editor of the magazines Naturaleza & Conservación, Aves Argentinas y Nuestras Aves. He collaborates as editorialist for the newspaper La Nación. He co-authored the book Manual del Observador de Aves, Mamíferos Silvestres de la Provincia de Misiones and El Doradillo, el lugar donde la naturaleza te quiere conocer a vos. Recently, he published with Alejandro Di Giacomo "Aves Argentinas, las 100 más chaqueñas".
Together with the photographer Jean Lanham, and in the context of the bicentenary of the Argentinean Republic, he produced the exhibition and book LAZOS, including texts of his own.
In 2011 he presented LUZ NATURAL Escritos tempranos, his first literary work, together with the artist Alfredo Blas Castagna. One of his poems, dedicated to the Hooded Grebe and translated into English, recently joined the exhibition Ghosts of Gone Birds, held at the Rochelle School of Arts in London.
Ithaca, New York, USA
Since 1995 John Fitzpatrick has been the Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University. Previously (1988-1995), he was Executive Director of Archbold Biological Station, a private ecological research foundation in central Florida. From 1978 to 1989 he was Curator of Birds and Chairman of the Department of Zoology at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. He is a Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, served as its President (2000-2002), and in 1985 received its highest research honor (Brewster Award) for his book Florida Scrub-Jay: Demography of a Cooperative Breeding Bird, co-authored with the late Glen E. Woolfenden. Among his 140+ scientific articles and books, he has published extensively on tropical American birds, including original descriptions of 7 new bird species he discovered. He is co-author of the book Neotropical Birds: Ecology and Conservation, and a principal author of the Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 9. He has been engaged in applying science to real-world conservation issues throughout his career. In central Florida, he helped design and implement a major network of ecological preserves and a new National Wildlife Refuge by engaging scientists, public agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private industry in the process. At Cornell he led development of 'eBird' and other pioneering citizen-science projects. First author on the 2005 announcement of rediscovery of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker in Arkansas, he organized search efforts to locate breeding pairs of this iconic bird of the southeastern North American swamp forests. He has served on national governing boards of The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society, on numerous professional and conservation panels, and on three Endangered Species Recovery Teams.
Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK
Ian Lewington is a bird illustrator living in the UK. He has been drawing birds from childhood and professionally since 1985 when he won the British Birds magazine Bird Illustrator of the Year. His illustrations have appeared in many books including Rare Birds of North America (due Feb '14), Rare Birds of Britain and Europe, Handbook of Birds of the World, Birds of the Western Palearctic and Auks of the World. He is currently working on a new fieldguide to the Birds of North America. He has just completed a fieldguide to Rare Birds of North America. He has been county bird recorder for Oxfordshire since 1994, served on the British Ornithologists Union Records Committee for 9 years and is identification consultant to Birding World.
Melksham, Wiltshire, UK
Charlie Moores has been 'online' and blogging about birds, conservation, and animal welfare since 2000. He has also birded (and photographed birds) on five continents , and - having failed many times under many different conditions to take an award-winning photograph - fully understands just how difficult it is to take a really great picture. Skill, knowledge, and that ability to capture the essence of what a bird really is may be beyond this particular amateur snapper, but, delighted to be asked again to judge the world's best photographic competition, he will do what he thinks many other birders would do in this position: imagine himself behind the camera, hoping he wasn't about to fluff the most important shot of his life, and loving the birds in front of him. He runs the website Talking Naturally (www.talking-naturally.co.uk
Washington, D.C., USA
Kathy Moran is the National Geographic Senior Editor for Natural History and a 33-year veteran of the magazine. In the course of her 23 years as an illustrations editor, she has clicked past more than 5 million frames made by some of the best photographers in the world. At last count, she had edited more than 200 stories for the magazine, including Nick Nichols' story on The Serengeti Lion for the August 2013 issue of NGM. She was also project manager for the NGS/Wildlife Conservation Society's award-winning Megatransect series, a collaborative effort by Nichols and Dr. Michael Fay that resulted in the creation of Gabon's national park system. Moran has edited three books for NGS: Women Photographers at National Geographic, The Africa Diaries—An Illustrated Life in the Bush, and Cat Shots. She was named Picture Editor of the Year for her portfolio in the 2006 Pictures of the Year competition and the 2011 Best of Photo competition.
Peter Johan Schei
From 1973 until he become BirdLife International's Chairman in 2004, Peter Johan Schei worked for the Norwegian government. At the beginning of his career he joined Norway's Ministry of the Environment, which was the world's first. When he left the government, he was International Negotiations Director for Norway and was based at the Norwegian Directorate for Nature Management, where he had been Director General from 1989 to 1995. He helped set up Norway's register of protected areas, and was subsequently involved in developing measures to protect them. He was, and remains, closely involved with the Convention on Biological Diversity and is considered one of its "founding fathers". In the 1990s, he initiated and chaired a series of CBD-related conferences at Trondheim, including in 1996 a conference on alien invasive species, which was rapidly recognised as an issue of global concern. He has also worked with IUCN, as a member of the Commission on Parks and Protected Areas, the Species Survival Commission, and the Commission on Ecosystems Management. He has been involved with various projects for the UN, among them the UN's Millennium Project and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He has been Director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI) in Norway from 2004 -2012, and is currently an associate researcher here. FNI is an independent foundation engaged in research on environmental, energy, and resource management politics, where the establishment and efficiency of international treaties, among them the CBD, Climate Change and UNCLOS, is one of the focal areas. In 2013 he stepped down as a chair of BirdLife International, and he is now Honorary Vice President of the organisation. Since 2008 he has also been Ambassador of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
After twenty years in the business world, the last fourteen as the head of a family-owned group of media companies, Markus turned his life-long hobby of bird watching and photography into full-time professional wildlife photography in 2005. He has won awards in numerous nature photo competitions, the highlight so far being the GDT European Wildlife Photographer Award in Birds Category in 2011.
He has published several books; among them Birds: Magic Moments
in 2011 (UK with editions in 6 languages), which was his first international bestseller, and in 2013 the Handbook of Bird Photography
(USA and Germany), written together with colleagues and friends Jari Peltomäki and Bence Máté.
Markus gives talks sparingly, in order not to miss too many days of fieldwork, but finds himself saying yes to a few invitations every year, such as the GDT EWPY Festival in Lünen, Spanish AEFONA, WildPhotos in London, etc, as well as other wildlife photography events inside and outside Finland.
Markus is a co-founder of the website birdphoto.fi; a unique platform combining the work of four competing nature photographers, offering editors and picture researchers, and anyone who is interested, a browsing library of bird photos. The site has about 800,000 main page hits each year.
Relentless in his pursuit of the best composition, the ideal light, the graceful marriage of object and setting; always after good colours, contrast, angle, sharpness – these are the essential building blocks for a good image but out in the wild, with wild subjects, also quite elusive and endlessly challenging.
Markus is a Canon Explorer, and a member of the team of photographers in the Wild Wonders of Europe initiative (www.facebook.com/markus.varesvuo
Josep del Hoyo | Jury Secretary
Josep del Hoyo is a founding partner of Lynx Edicions, Senior Editor of its well-known Handbook of the Bird of the World (HBW) series, and the initiator of (and active contributor to) the Internet Bird Collection (IBC) and Director of the Alive (HBW Alive), as well as being involved in many other projects. For six years he was president of DEPANA, the Catalonian network for the defence of nature and then, from 1994 to 2008, he was the Vice President of the Spanish Society of Ornithology, SEO/BirdLife, and from 2004 to 2013 he was a member of the Global Council of BirdLife International. He is passionate about nature and highly committed to its conservation, promoting this through the dissemination of knowledge on the subject through his various initiatives. He has travelled to over 100 countries and has seen 7700+ species of birds.