|David Bourn is an environmental biologist with many years experience of agricultural studies, project management, natural resource assessment, environmental screening, institutional strengthening and capacity building in Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. His knowledge and practical experience span a wide range of fields, including: wildlife biology; biodiversity; agricultural ecology; environmental animal health; farming system studies; natural resource surveys; environmental monitoring and impact assessment; epidemiology; remote sensing; development planning; project formulation, appraisal, management and review; desk-top-publishing; and basic website design and management.
After schooling in Britain, Kenya and Tanzania and a degree in zoology from Edinburgh University (1969), he worked as a United Nations Volunteer with the University of Malawi on a two-year ecological study of Lake Chilwa in southern Malawi (1969-71). On completion of a Masters degree from Edinburgh University (1972), he joined the Animal Ecology Research Group at Oxford University and worked for three years on the ecology of giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. From 1976 to 1982, he was employed by the British Government as a Technical Co-operation Research Officer, with assignments in Ethiopia, Somalia and Nigeria, which formed the basis of his doctorate on agricultural expansion and environmental change from Oxford University (1983).
After three years as a peripatetic consultant and aerial survey coordinator for the International Livestock Centre for Africa in Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Sudan, he co-founding the Environmental Research Group Oxford Limited in 1985. ERGO is an independent consultancy company specialising in applied research for sustainable development. As Chairman and Executive Director of ERGO he managed numerous projects and studies for various development agencies, including: Department for International Development; the European Commission; Food and Agriculture of Organisation of the United Nations; International Fund for Agricultural Development; Overseas Development Institute; OXFAM; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation; and the World Bank.