Professor Peter Ryan

FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town

Prof Peter Ryan is an ornithologist with an interest in seabirds and the effects of plastic pollution on the marine environment. His MSc and PhD research in the 1980s took him to remote islands in the Southern Ocean, leading to Inaccessible Island being proclaimed a Nature Reserve and recognition of Gough and Inaccessible Islands as a Natural World Heritage Site. In 1993 he was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Zoology at UCT to run the newly established MSc Programme in Conservation Biology which graduated more than 300 students from 52 countries. In 2014, he was appointed as Director of the Fitztitute. He served as President of BirdLife South Africa from 2010 to 2012; received the Gilchrist Medal for contributions to marine science; and the Gill Memorial Medal for outstanding lifetime contributions to ornithology. He has published over 500 papers and supervised 118 post-graduate students. Over the last eight years his research outputs include four books, four book chapters, and 217 peer-reviewed articles.