ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Professor Nick Davidson

Professor Nick Davidson

Professor Nick Davidson currently works as an independent expert consultant on wetland conservation and wise use issues. He was the Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands from 2000 to 2014, with overall responsibility for the Convention's global development and delivery of scientific, technical and policy guidance and advice and communications as the Convention Secretariat’s senior advisor on these matters. He has long-standing experience in, and a strong commitment to, environmental sustainability supported through the transfer of environmental science into policy-relevance and decision-making at national and international scales.

Nick’s current work includes supporting enhanced Ramsar Convention implementation in Myanmar, strategic planning for Ramsar Regional Initiatives, and research on improving the global knowledge-base on the area, distribution, status and trends of wetlands.

Since 2009 he has been Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Land, Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, Australia; is an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM); was presented with the Society of Wetland Scientist’s (SWS) International Fellow Award 2010 for his long-term contributions to global wetland science and policy; chairs the SWS’s Ramsar Section; is Chair of the East Asia-Australasia Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Technical Sub-Committee; is an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Marine & Freshwater Research; and is an active member of several IUCN Commissions and their task forces (World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), Species Survival Commission (SSC) and Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM)).

In 2019 Nick received the Society of Wetland Scientists Lifetime Achievement Award


  • Ecology, assessment and conservation of coastal and inland wetlands
  • Conservation and sustainable use, impact assessments and restoration
  • Ecophysiology and flyway conservation of migratory waterbirds
  • Integrated costal zone management

Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons, First Class), University of Aberdeen, UK , 1975

Doctor of Philosophy (Zoology), University of Durham, UK 1981

Selected Publications

Researchgate Profile and Publications list

Peer Reviewed Papers

Davidson, N.C., Dinesen, L., Fennessy, S., Finlayson, C.M., Grillas, P., Grobicki, A., McInnes, R.J., & Stroud, D.A. (2020) Trends in the ecological character of the world’s wetlands. Marine & Freshwater Research 71:127-138doi: 10.1071/MF18329.

Davidson, N.C., Dinesen, L., Fennessy, S., Finlayson, C.M., Grillas, P., Grobicki, A., McInnes, R.J., & Stroud, D.A. (2020) A review of the adequacy of reporting to the Ramsar Convention on change in the ecological character of wetlands. Marine & Freshwater Research 71:117-126doi: 10.1071/MF18328.

Kumar, R., McInnes, R., Finlayson, C. M., Davidson, N.C, Rissik, D., Paul, S., Cui, L., Lei, Y., Capon, S., Fennessy, S. (2020). Wetland ecological character and wise use: towards a new framing. Marine and Freshwater Research,

Fluet-Chouinard, E., Stewart-Koster, B., Davidson, N., Finlayson, C.M. & McIntyre, P.B. (2020). Reciprocal insights from global aquatic stressor maps and local reporting across the Ramsar wetland network, Ecological Indicators 109

Davidson, N.C. & Finlayson, C.M. (2019) Updating global coastal wetland areas presented in Davidson and Finlayson (2018).  Marine and Freshwater Research

Davidson, N.C., van Dam, A.A., Finlayson, C.M. & McInnes, R.J. (2019) Worth of wetlands: revised global monetary values of coastal and inland wetland ecosystem services. Marine and Freshwater Research

Davidson, N.C. & Finlayson, C.M. (2018) Extent, regional distribution and changes in area of different classes of wetlands. Marine Freshwater Research 69: 1525–1533.

Davidson, N.C., Fluet-Chouinard, E. & Finlayson, C.M. (2018) Global extent and distribution of wetlands: trends and issues. Marine and Freshwater Research.

Walpole, M., & Davidson, N. (2018) Stop draining the swamp: It's time to tackle wetland loss. Oryx, 52(4), 595-596. doi:10.1017/S0030605318001059

Davidson, N.C., Finlayson, C.M. (2018) Extent, regional distribution and changes in area of different classes of wetlands. Marine Freshwater Research 69: 1525–1533.

Finlayson, C.M., Capon, S.J., Rissik, D., Pittock, J., Fisk, G., Davidson, N.C., Bodmin, K.A., Papas, P., Robertson, H.A., Shcallenberb, M., Santilan, N., Edyvane, M., & Bino, G.  (2017) Policy considerations for managing wetlands under a changing climate. Marine and Freshwater Research


Finlayson, C.M, Everard, M., Irvine, K., McInnes, R.J., Middleton, B.A., van Dam A.A., & Davidson, N.C. (Eds) (2018) The Wetland Book I: Structure and Function, Management and Methods. Springer Publishers, Dordrecht

Finlayson, C.M., Milton, R., Prentice, C., & Davidson, N.C. (Eds) (2018) The Wetland Book II: Distribution, Description, and Conservation. Springer Publishers, Dordrecht.

Book Chapters

Davidson, N.C., Middleton, B., McInnes, R.J., Everard, M., Irvine K, van Dam, A.A. & Finlayson, C.M., (2018) Introduction to the Wetland Book 1: Wetland Structure and Function, Management, and Methods. In Finlayson, C.M., Everard, M., Irvine, K., McInnes, R.J, Middleton, B.A., van Dam, A.A. & Davidson, N.C. (Eds.), The Wetland Book I: Structure and Function, Management and Methods. Springer Publishers, Dordrecht. DOI 10.1007/978-94-007-6172-8_356-1

Finlayson, C.M., Davidson, N.C., Gell, P.A., Kumar, R. & McInnes, R.J. Managing freshwater protected areas in the global landscape. In: Finlayson CM, Pittock & Arthington A (Eds.), Freshwater Ecosystems in Protected Areas - Conservation and managementRoutledge. 2018

Conference Papers

Davidson, N. (2019) The Worth of Wetlands: Revised Global Monetary Values of Coastal and Inland Wetland Ecosystem Services. Paper presented at Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Annual Conference, Baltimore, USA, May 28 – 31.

Davidson, N. (2019) Ramsar Convention’s recent (COP13 2018) decisions on wetlands and climate change: key issues and implement

Technical Report

Gardner, R.C. &  Finlayson, C.M. (Lead authors) et al. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. (2018). Global Wetland Outlook: State of the World’s Wetlands and their Services to People. Gland, Switzerland: Ramsar Convention Secretariat.

Rebelo, L.-M., Finlayson, C.M., Strauch, A., Rosenqvist, A., Perennou, C., Tøttrup, C., Hilarides, L., Paganini, M., Wielaard, N., Siegert, F., Ballhorn, U., Navratil, P., Franke, J. & Davidson, N. (2018)  The use of Earth Observation for wetland inventory, assessment and monitoring: An information source for the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Ramsar Technical Report No.10. Gland, Switzerland: Ramsar Convention Secretariat.