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


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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Emperor penguins diving, Ross Sea, Antarctica © National Geographic Creative / Paul Nicklen / WWF

Tracking the emperors of Antarctica






WWF has teamed up with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to track emperor penguins in Antarctica. And now for the first time in 60 years, these iconic birds have received a British-led fieldwork study. For me, emperor penguins are the iconic Antarctic species. When I first encountered them, I was struck not only by their […]

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