Faculty of Science, Agriculture & Engineering

Staff Profile

Dr Philip McGowan

  • Senior Lecturer

Species conservation

Science to policy

Dr Philip McGowan is Dean of Engagement and Internationalisation in the SAgE Faculty, Senior Lecturer in Biodiversity and Conservation in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, and Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Sustainability. He joined Newcastle University in 2012 after working for more than 20 years in international conservation, mainly with colleagues throughout Asia.

He has worked with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for many years, especially its Species Survival Commission, which he has served in a variety of capacities, including as Co-Chair of its Species Survival Commission Policy Sub-Committee between 2014 and 2016. IUCN is seen as a global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. He is Chair of SSC’s recently established Post-2020 Biodiversity Targets Task Force that will work with SSC’s many thousands of species specialists to contribute to the debate about the Convention on Biological Diversity’s targets for species conservation after 2020. He has worked with SSC to produce guidelines on the use of ex situ management in species conservation and species conservation planning.

Dr McGowan represents SSC on the IUCN delegation to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The IPBES is the intergovernmental body which assesses the state of biodiversity and of the ecosystem services it provides to society.

His research and policy interests are:

  • threatened species
  • global targets and agreements for species conservation
  • biodiversity science-policy interface

His research for conserving threatened species spans countries in Asia, Africa and South America with particular experience in Malaysia, India, Nepal and China.