My research concerns measuring the trends and consequences of biodiversity loss and change with a particular focus on the science-policy interface for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. I worked for many years on developing, testing and applying scientifically-based criteria for listing species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of threatened species. This system has been applied by IUCN since 2000 and has been adopted and adapted by many countries. I have developed new approaches to evaluating the interactions between species extinction and ecosystem change, and to measuring the risks to people of ecosystem degradation and the loss of natural capital.
I was lucky that the research I did when our children were small did not require any laboratory of specialised facilities. I worked part-time for about ten years and was also lucky to have two fellowships that were very flexible. Both Rod and I worked near home, so there was no lengthy commuting which I think helped us a lot. We had au pairs and various forms of childcare until our youngest was in secondary school. At that time, Rod changed his job, and was working about 60% of the time from home as well as being away about one day a week on average. This meant that we had more cover though there were then more problems in ensuring that we were not both away at the same time. Good planning and an effective family diary helped a lot, but there were often difficult choices as I became more involved in international scientific projects that required a lot of travelling. Somehow it all worked out in the end.