Dr. Evan Buechley Departs; Dr. Megan Murgatroyd Becomes Interim Director of International Programs

04 February 2022

After spending the last five years laying the foundation for the first International Program at HawkWatch International (HWI), Dr. Evan Buechley is departing the organization to pursue the next chapter in his career. Dr. Megan Murgatroyd, International Conservation Biologist, will serve as Interim Director of International Programs. 

During his tenure, Dr. Buechley led HWI to a number of firsts for the organization, including conducting groundbreaking research into the declines of African vultures. One of his recent studies found that Egyptian Vultures were at far more risk in Europe and the Middle East than in sub-Saharan Africa, helping conservationists pinpoint exactly where to focus conservation actions. 

Executive Director Nikki Wayment feels grateful HWI was able to support this incredibly important work. “Old world vultures have been in decline for years, and for the past five years, we’ve been able to really build on Evan’s doctoral research in Ethiopia to shed light on what is causing these declines and how to stop them,” she shared. 

In addition to his research on Ethiopian vultures, Dr. Buechley helped create HWI’s first department focused exclusively on international work, focused on the most pressing raptor conservation needs. Those needs were identified in a paper led by Dr. Buechely, fellow HWI scientist Dr. Dave Oleyar, and other prominent raptor researchers. The paper has driven HWI to focus its international research on species most in decline, including the work of 7 researchers in six countries supported through HWI’s Global Raptor Research & Conservation Grant. 

“Working at HawkWatch International has been one of the highlights of my career,” Buechley reflected in a recent meeting. “I’m so thankful for all the support the international program has received.” 

Dr. Megan Murgatroyd, based in South Africa, will lead the department, as Interim Director of International Programs. Dr. Buechley’s last day is Friday, February 4th, 2022.