New head of IUCN Science and Knowledge announced

30 October 2012 | News story

IUCN is pleased to announce that Dr Thomas Brooks will be joining the Secretariat as Head – Science and Knowledge in the Global Policy and Programme Group in January 2013.

Dr Brooks comes to IUCN from NatureServe in the US where he has served since 2010 as Vice-President for Science and Chief Scientist. Prior to NatureServe, he worked for The Nature Conservancy in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies in the University of Arkansas, and then for 11 years at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, Conservation International, latterly as Vice President.

Dr Brooks is already well known to many in IUCN already through his various roles in the IUCN Commissions and Panels including the Species Survival Commission Steering Committee, Red List Committee, and Joint Task Force on Protected Areas and Biodiversity. He has also served on many IUCN delegations such as to the conferences of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Thomas has an impressive track record of publications in high impact journals and has presented his work in about 100 scientific conferences, seminars and workshops. He has carried out fieldwork in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Paraguay, and the bulk of his PhD research was conducted in Kenya, studying land use change and bird extinction. He has more than 20 years’ experience of biodiversity conservation science overall and has an excellent track record in fund raising.

In his new position at IUCN, his main tasks will be to promote and support the scientific underpinning of the IUCN programme and knowledge products; promote learning, sharing and knowledge dissemination; serve as IUCN’s science champion and facilitator; and manage and administer the Science and Knowledge Unit. He will cooperate closely with the members of IUCN’s Secretariat, Commissions and IUCN Members and this will include both the natural and social sciences as essential components to achieving IUCN’s mission.

“I’m deeply honoured and excited to have been appointed into this role," says Dr Brooks. "It offers an amazing opportunity to help draw together the astonishing breadth of scientific expertise from across IUCN’s six commissions, membership and secretariat to support the development and maintenance of knowledge products, strengthen delivery of the IUCN programme overall, and contribute towards halting the crisis of biodiversity loss which confronts humanity.”


This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.