Professor John E. Fa was educated in Gibraltar and obtained his undergraduate degree in Zoology from the University of Wales, and a D.Phil. in Animal Ecology from the University of Oxford. He has more than 30 years’ experience in academic research and teaching in conservation science.
Until the end of January 2014 John was the Chief Conservation Officer at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey, where he was responsible for conservation science activities for the organization. Currently he holds the position of Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at the University of Malaga, Spain.
John’s research naturally embraces a broad set of disciplines such as biology, economics, anthropology, and development. Crucially, he will pursue emerging issues that impinge significantly upon the long-term future of global biodiversity, such as defaunation of tropical rainforests, the impact of loss of wildlife on people dependent on it, climate change or the impact of diseases on wildlife and humans. The fundamental underpinning of his research and career is to advance scientific knowledge but also use it for practical purposes.
In his time at Durrell he was able to “balance” tasks such as developing and managing a training centre for conservation practitioners, directing a practical and active programme of global conservation projects as well as contributing to the advancement of science.
John has published extensively with over 150 peer-reviewed publications and 9 books in his name. He aims to continue publishing in high-profile journals and to communicate the results of this work among peers, and students. John teaches in a number of courses in academic institutions in the UK and other countries. He also mentors students at undergraduate, post-graduate and vocational levels. Since 2007, he has formed part of the team co-directing the MSc Course in Conservation Science in Imperial College London. This course is the result of a very successful partnership between three NGOs (including Durrell) and an academic institution, as attested by the large number of student applications received every year. This is an excellent model of how practitioners and universities can work together effectively.