Meet The Trustees

Peter Cowdrey
Peter Cowdrey is a UK based composer, pianist and ornithologist with a particular interest in birdsong and recording. He is the founder of Planet Birdsong, and its musical arm The Conference of Birds. As a small boy he loved listening to the dawn chorus but was deeply frustrated at birdsong's inaccessibility - too fast, too high, and resolutely resistant to being shoehorned into what was generally defined as music. Peter is excited that advances in technology have made it possible to crack the hidden codes of birdsong and seeks to share them with the rest of the world, especially children. Learn more in this short BBC documentary.

Hillary MacBean
Hilary MacBean is a retired UK Chartered Town Planner with an interest in sustainable development practice who now focuses on bird and wildlife conservation. She is leading the Planet Birdsong Foundation partnership with the University of Rwanda Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management, is working on appropriate bio-acoustic recording and processing techniques, and is supporting the logistical and organisational side of the project. She has visited Rwanda several times since 2015 and is involved in mentoring and training young bird guides for international tourism while bringing awareness and knowledge of bird sounds to guides and students. Her underlying interests are in bird life conservation and data as an indicator of biodiversity health, aimed at a holistic and sustainable approach to conservation and community development.

Isak Herman
Dr. Isak Herman, PhD brings over a decade of collaborative work with marine, terrestrial and avian conservation organizations around the world. With a background in computational acoustics, his subsequent doctoral research, through the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge, UK, involved specialization in design and development of public engagement technology for bioacoustic education and citizen science. As a trustee of the Planet Birdsong Foundation he specializes in web and mobile software development with a focus on educational games. For past and ongoing research work, find out more at Some of the fieldwork for his doctoral thesis was on Planet Birdsong’s work in schools and communities in Yorkshire.