Committee and Coordinators

Dr Eileen Rees


Eileen joined the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (then known as the Wildfowl Trust) in 1977, as Research Assistant to the long-term study of Bewick’s Swans wintering at Slimbridge, and has never got around to leaving! In the early years she undertook the identification of individual swans by their black-and-yellow bill patterns, a study initiated by Sir Peter Scott and his family in the early 1960s. More recently she has worked on a range of wildfowl research and conservation projects at WWT, but has maintained and coordinated involvement in swan research, including the collaborative studies of the Icelandic Whooper Swan population and the NW European Bewick’s Swan population. Eileen initially served as Chair of the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Swan Specialist Group from 1994–2001, and reprised the role in 2014 saying at the time:

“I’ve dedicated much of my life to understanding the conditions encountered by these beautiful birds, and to promoting their conservation. Information exchange is crucial for enhancing their survival, so I’m proud to take on this role in bringing the world’s experts together.”

Jeff Snyder

Regional Coordinator (North America)

Carl Mitchell

Newsletter Editor

Carl D. Mitchell has worked with Trumpeter Swans since 1984. As a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior, he surveyed, managed and studied Trumpeter Swans in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Alaska. He wrote the Birds of North America ( account on Trumpeter Swans in 1994, and co-authored a 2010 update. He retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011 and continues to work on Trumpeter Swan management and field research in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He is the former North American Coordinator for the SSG, and currently Editor of the Swan Specialist Group Newsletter.

Kane Brides

Membership Secretary

My main interest is in Icelandic Whooper Swans, I’ve been fortunate to assist with work being carried out on this species both in Iceland and the UK. I also take a keen interest in Bewick’s Swans and through my work at WWT; I assist with the capture and ringing of both species as part of WWT’s long term swan life-history studies. I am also invovled in the Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme which monitors the abundance and breeding success of the UK’s native geese and migratory swans during the non-breeding season.

Julia Newth

Website Editor

Dr Diana Solovyeva

Bewick’s Swan (Eastern Population)

Diana has been working with the eastern Bewick’s swan population in the Arctic Siberian tundra since 1990.   Her major topics of interest are breeding biology, climate effect on density and productivity, time budgets and migration ties. Species overlap with the Tundra swan in parts of eastern Russia is a particular focus.

Jan Beekman

Bewick’s Swan (NW European Population)

Jon Coleman

Black Swan

Jon has worked with swans all his life, from childhood helping with research on Mute swans in the English Midlands and through University studying Mute swans in Northern England for his PhD. On leaving the UK to live and work in Australia Jon now studies Black swans in south east Queensland, studying their breeding behaviour and movements.

Yerko Vilina Leiva

Yerko works in the Veterinary School of the Universidad Santo Tomas, Santiago, Chile, where he studies the population ecology and conservation of Black-necked Swans and Coscoroba Swans in Central Chile. Research topics include investigation of Black-necked Swan numbers in relation to the occurrence of the El Niño – Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and resulting conditions (particularly water levels) at internationally important breeding sites, such as the El Yali wetland, which is a Ramsar site. Other research interests include the sites/habitats used by Coscoroba Swans in South America. Coscoroba Swans have traditionally inhabited the Austral region of Chile, but started colonising the Mediterranean wetlands of Central Chile about 35 years ago, where their numbers are increasing. Yerko recorded this species at the El Yali wetland for the first time in 1989.

Radosław Włodarczyk (PhD)

Mute Swan (Central European Population)

Radoslaw works for the Department of Biodiversity Studies and Bioeducation at the University of Lodz.  He works with Mute, Bewick’s and Whooper swans in the Lodz region of central Poland.  Topics include:

Mute Swan: breeding ecology- annual monitoring of the breeding population (50-60 pairs) since 1996, behavioural studies (breeding season, pre-laying period, parental duties), ringing (in years 2000-2010: moulting birds, annually: breeding pairs with cygnets- ca. 50 birds per year), individual life history traits (based on data from ringed birds), avian influenza (AI) in swans (collection of samples).

Whooper Swan- ringing of breeders at the edge of species home range (2 pairs within the study area).

Bewick’s Swan: time-budget analysis at stopover sites during spring and autumn migration.

John E. Cornely (PhD)

Trumpeter Swan

John has had a long career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Refuge Biologist prior to accepting the role of Regional Migratory Bird Program Chief, a position he held for 20 years.  John has extensive experience in Trumpeter swan ecology and management and is currently a Senior Conservation Advisor with the Trumpeter Swan Society.

Craig Ely

Tundra Swan

Ma Ming

Whooper Swan (Eastern Population)

Bjarke Laubek

Whooper Swan (Mainland Europe Population)

Olafur Einarsson

Whooper Swan (Icelandic Population)

Whooper Swan (Icelandic Population)