Adrift Lab’s Dr Alex Bond named Ornithologist-in-Residence at St Nicholas’ Church, Leicester

The Adrift Lab is very excited to announce that Dr Alex Bond has been appointed the inaugural Ornithologist-in-Residence at St Nicholas’ Church in Leicester, UK. This of course raises the question of why a church has an ornithologist in residence, and why it’s Alex (who is not a member of the congregation, or Christian).

The current Priest in Charge of St Nicholas’, the Reverend Canon Karen Rooms, says: “Having an Ornithologist in Residence will be an invitation to us to reflect on who we are, our place in the world, and about who God is, given our spiritual tradition talks about God using ornithological references. We welcome Alex into the community of St Nick's.” St Nicholas’ Church, Leicester, is one of the oldest churches in England, having been consecrated in 879, before the country of England even existed, and at a time when the birdlife of Britain looked quite different to that we see today. This exciting melding of an ancient religious building, and a top scientist, will allow for explorations of the ecology of our future and our past through the lens of the communities of the present.

Alex will be using the building, it’s history, and it’s current status as an inclusive church with a thriving community, as a new perspective from which to examine his field of work, asking what ancient church buildings can teach us about our ecological history, sustainability, and the current climate and biodiversity crisis - and what St Nick’s, as a single church community, and in the wider church, can do now to create a welcoming and protective environment for birds, and the natural world more broadly.

As an inclusive church with a large LGBTQ+ congregation, it mirrors the Adrift Lab’s commitments to diversity, inclusion, and the importance of place and community in both personal and professional spheres. The appointment takes effect today, 24 May 2021, and was brought about after a year of conversation about the how, who, where, and why of the research we do in Adrift Lab, the ethos of St Nick’s, and how they overlap and complement each other.

You can visit Alex’s website:, and follow him on Twitter @TheLabAndField

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