Rob Clay

Director, Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network Executive Office

Rob Clay joined the Manomet team in May 2014 as Director of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) Executive Office. Rob has been working on the conservation of birds throughout the Western Hemisphere for over 20 years.


Prior to joining Manomet, Rob worked for BirdLife International as Senior Conservation Manager in the Americas Secretariat. At BirdLife, he led the development of conservation programs for grassland birds, migratory birds, and globally threatened birds. He was instrumental in building BirdLife’s Southern Cone Grasslands Alliance, a coalition of cattle ranchers, government agencies, research bodies, and conservation organizations working to incorporate conservation into the productive landscape of the South American Pampas grasslands.


As BirdLife’s senior staff member focused on the conservation of migratory birds, Rob worked regularly with the WHSRN staff and partners and has also served on the WHSRN Hemispheric Council. Rob is the current Chair of the Waterbird Conservation Council and is Vice President of the Heron Specialist Group (HeronConservation). Prior to working for BirdLife International, Rob worked for the lead Paraguayan conservation NGO, Guyra Paraguay, an organization he helped found in 1997.


Rob received his B.A. in Zoology and his M.A and Ph.D. in Behavioral Ecology from the University of Cambridge (U.K.). He is a native of the United Kingdom but has called Paraguay home since 1997 (except for two years spent in Ecuador). His interest in neotropical birds and conservation began during an undergraduate expedition to Paraguay in 1992 and led to Ph.D. studies of manakins in Costa Rica and Panama.


Rob is based in Asuncion, Paraguay, where he conducts regular monitoring of shorebirds at the Asunción Bay WHSRN site.