WWF UK Blog  

Rod Downie's biography

Rod Downie at work in Antarctica Rod Downie at work in Antarctica © Mike Richardson

Hello, my name is Rod and I lead WWF’s polar programme in the UK.

Through this blog I hope to share my enthusiasm for why the polar regions matter, and what we are doing to protect these amazing, beautiful and iconic places for future generations.

I joined WWF in 2011, having previously spent 14 years with the British Antarctic Survey – including more than two-and-a-half years living and working on the ice in the Antarctic.

As well as this blog, I have also written articles for the Huffington Post.

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My latest posts


Emperor penguin Chick Dawson-Lambton Glacier, Antarctica © Fritz Pölking / WWF

Top 10 facts about emperor penguins

For me, Emperor penguins are the iconic Antarctic species. When I first saw them on the ice, I was struck by their serene grace and intricate beauty. Delicate gold patches adorn their chest like an artist’s brushstroke against their otherwise black and white plumage. No other species is so perfectly adapted to survive in the […]

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mother polar bear and cub walk across frozen pond © Elizabeth Kruger / WWF-US

Icons of the ice (part two)

You join me on an innovative population survey of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic, led by scientists from the Government of Nunavut. We’re here to improve our understanding of how the bears will survive in a climate-altered future. “Bear! Starboard at 9 o’clock”. In the excitement, it takes a fraction of a second to […]

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Polar bear walking on ice © WWF-US / Elisabeth Kruger

Icons of the ice (part one)

In April last year, I joined scientists from the Government of Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic who were conducting an innovative population survey of polar bears. Why? Because in order to help conserve this iconic species, we need better data to accurately assess how climate change will affect them. And that’s where innovation and technology […]

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