Aldo is a qualified Ornithologist with a PhD in Ornithology.
For 54 years, birds and birding have been integral to Aldo’s life, beginning with birdwatching 1967. Post-school, his university training soon focused on birds, leading to research on birds of the Southern Ocean and an MSc from the University of Cape Town, whilst working for the Fitzpatrick Institute on albatrosses at Marion Island.
Whilst his professional career as a bird researcher developed, he continued to develop his birding interests, leading to the first Southern African guide on where to find birds called ‘Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa’ with Ian Sinclair. He ran his birding courses for summer schools at the Universities of Cape Town and Natal, and has given hundreds of popular talks and presentations over the years. He authored a popular book title ‘Discovering Birds’.
Aldo worked for the Sea Fisheries Research Institute from 1981-1988, where he worked on seabirds of the Western Cape, obtaining a Doctorate. In 1988, he moved to the Durban Museum of Natural Science, following which he successfully brought the 22nd International Ornithological Congress to Durban, with more than 1000 international visitors, and with an accompanying popular programme for the broader birding community in Southern Africa.
He took a leap from research to administration in 1996, becoming BirdLife South Africa’s first Director. During this time, he transitioned the organisation into an active conservation role as part of BirdLife International on whose Board he served for nearly 2 years. This included hosting BirdLife International’s four-yearly Congress in Durban in 2004. As Director of BirdLife South Africa, he founded many programmes and events still active today; including the community guide training, the annual Birding Fair and the Wakkerstroom field Centre.
From 2004 to 2013, he became director of the African Gamebird Research Education and Development Trust, focussing on gamebirds as a vehicle for conservation and authoring a book on gamebirds.
Going back to a deep-seated enjoyment of birding, he became a tour guide and operator in 2014, focussing on the legendary Sani Pass and Lesotho, and including specialist birding tours.