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Our dedicated team combines scientific excellence, outstanding technical ability and a passion for nature

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Cleo Cunningham

Deputy Head | Conserving Land and Seascapes

As Deputy-Head, Cleo supports the Conserving Land and Seascapes team alongside the Head of Programme. The team support the global community on a broad range of issues relating to conservation and area-based conservation, including providing support to governments and regions on protected areas networks and marine spatial plans. The team deliver key knowledge products such as Protected Planet and Ocean+. Cleo’s particular role is to support the team in future project development.

Previous experience & expertise

Cleo comes to us having spent 7 years as Head of the BirdLife International Marine Programme, based at RSPB and BirdLife, where the science-to-policy-to-conservation focus included reducing bycatch of threatened albatrosses and petrels in global fisheries and supporting BirdLife’s Partnership to identify and protect Marine Important Bird Areas around the world. Cleo has an undergraduate degree from Cambridge University (Natural Science and Social and Political Science), a Masters from Yale University (Environmental Science and International Relations) and a PhD from Lancaster University (Spatial distribution of breeding waders in upland agricultural landscapes).