Skip to content

University professor wins prestigious award from British Ecological Society

University of Gloucestershire wildlife expert Professor Adam Hart has won the Marsh Ecology Book of the Year Award 2023 from the British Ecological Society (BES).

Written and researched by Professor Hart and Dr Nikolaj Bichel from Oxford University, Trophy Hunting is the first book of its kind to tackle the highly controversial and emotional issue of trophy hunters killing the likes of lions, rhinos and elephants.

In Trophy Hunting, Professor Hart and Dr Bichel explore the connections between humans and wildlife, the identity and motivations of trophy hunters, the viability of trophy hunting as a conservation tool, and the role of social media in shaping discussion on the subject.

Their groundbreaking work has won them Marsh Ecology Book of the Year, which is awarded to the book that has had the greatest influence on the science of ecology in any two-year period.

Reviewer Dr Paul Ganderton said: “This is a genuinely unusual and fascinating text. You don’t have to be a wildlife/hunting researcher to appreciate the depth of the topic.

“In fact, as the book makes abundantly clear, very few people are hunting researchers hence the paucity of debate. As a study in discussing the parameters of an applied conservation topic, there are few texts that can match it.”

Professor Hart, Professor of Science Communication at the University, said: “‘I think it is easy to see trophy hunting activities and come to a snap judgement.

‘We are in the midst of a biodiversity crisis and if we are serious about solving it then we need to park our preconceptions, and temper our emotions.

“Fixing complex problems involves accepting that the world may not be as we think it is, or wish it be, and taking grown-up, evidence-based actions.”

Professor Hart and Dr Bichel will be presented with their prizes during a ceremony held at the BES Annual Meeting in Belfast on 12-15 December.

Founded in 1913, the BES is the oldest ecological society in the world and promotes the study of ecology through a range of scientific literature, funding and events, education initiatives and policy work. The society has over 7,000 members from nearly 130 different countries.