Iain Downie

eBird Android Developer


Android • Java • Citizen Science

I build and maintain the Android version of the eBird Mobile App.

Since studying biology in Scotland in the late 1980s, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in and around biological sciences all my adult life. I started the 1990s researching the effects of upland habitats on spider populations for my B.S. and Ph.D., before broadening that work out to a wide range of agricultural habitats with varying types of management.

After studying for a Masters in Information Technology, I was lucky to land a position as a web developer for the British Trust for Ornithology, which helped switch my focus from spiders and other invertebrates to birds, and to IT. My 13 years at the BTO, working on several web and mobile projects such as BirdTrack, Breeding Bird Survey, and Garden BirdWatch, culminated in one of my proudest achievements—developing the online side of the 2007–2011 Bird Atlas, for which I also contributed a chapter on the role of IT (how we built the atlas online), and became an author on the published book (2013).

This background has led me to my current position at the Lab, developing the eBird App for Android. I love the creative side to app development, making something that people find easy to use and contribute conservation data through. Mostly though, I love working in a team of like-minded individuals, all with a common goal to move eBird forward! I use the app all the time, enough said!?


Ph.D., Ecology, Durham
M.Sc., Information Technology, Glasgow
B.Sc., Biological Science, Paisley

Beyond the Lab

When not birding, I’m usually training hard for long-distance triathlon events.

Iain Downie
Center Avian Population Studies
Projects eBird
Email isd22@cornell.edu

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Golden-cheeked Warbler by Bryan Calk/Macaulay Library