Who Are We?
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA-UK) is the recognized authority on light pollution and works to combat light pollution in the UK and worldwide.
We work to celebrate and protect the starry night sky and nocturnal wildlife in towns, cities and the countryside. We strive to reduce light pollution by promoting responsible lighting that is beautiful, healthy, and functional.
Why not watch this TedX talk by Bettymaya Foott to find out more, it’s just a little over 10 minutes of your time and explains everything:
Meet The Team
We are eternally grateful to everyone who supports our work, but particularly we want to thank our leadership team and volunteers who give their time and expertise for free.
Prof Martin Morgan-Taylor
Martin is the associate professor in Law, at DE Montfort University Leicester, UK who specialises with the regulatory side of artificial light at night (ALAN); balancing the advantages with the disadvantages of the use of light at night. He is experienced in advising lighting stakeholders, including lighting professionals, politicians, conservationists and astronomers. Martin is a member of the international steering group for the ALAN conferences and a past board member (and vice president), of the IDA.
Amy is an Associate lighting designer at Buro Happold, leading and promoting sustainable and environmental values for outdoor spaces. Her passions: celebrating dark skies, protecting our ecosystem from light pollution, and allowing people to connect to nature in all areas of the exterior environment are all at the forefront of her thinking and her designs. Amy’s core value is the importance of the role humankind plays in this balance and the conservation of the natural world. Focusing on education and raising awareness of the negative impacts light pollution has on people, ecology, and biodiversity. The ideal outcome is to accomplish a holistic solution that considers, benefits, and enhances the experience for all humanity, flora and fauna.
Prof Nick Dunn
Nick is Professor of Urban Design and Executive Director of Imagination, the design and architecture research lab at Lancaster University. He is the founding Director of the Dark Design Lab, exploring the impacts of nocturnal activity on humans and non-humans, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of urban places at night. Nick works across academia and multiple design professions to promote positive engagements with darkness, increase public understanding of key issues, and improve access to the dark sky for the benefit of future generations of humans and non-humans, and the planet we share. Nick’s focus in the IDA-UK chapter is on developing a more sustainable relationship between the built environment and the night, as well as exploring ways to promote wider and inclusive participation with dark skies.
Roy Alexander BSc, FRAS
Roy is the chair of the board of directors of the UK Chapter, has a degree in Planetary Physics, and is studying a Masters in Education (inequality.) A physics teacher for over 20 years, Roy and his team at AstroVentures CIC now manage public astronomy events around the UK. He designed the Battlesteads Observatory in addition to having consulted on various observatory and astro tourism builds around the world. Roy’s passion is education and his focus in the IDA-UK Chapter is on improving the environmental impacts of light pollution in urban areas, whilst looking at ways to improve social justice outcomes and access to dark sky areas for marginalised families and children.
Dani is the Dark Sky Officer for Prosiect Nos, the North Cymru Dark Skies Partnership. She works to educate about light pollution and encourage people to be Dark Sky Friendly. She also works to reduce light pollution levels across the four protected landscapes in North Cymru. She is a passionate conservationist an avid surfer and is a professional astronomer and astrophotographer. Dani can usually be found driving around in her mobile observatory, helping people in Cymru to look up and turn their lights down.
Dan is the Dark Skies Officer at the South Downs National Park Authority and International Dark Sky Reserve. He was responsible for creating and submitting the South Downs application to the IDA and continues to manages the National Parks delivery of dark skies. Dan uses his position to promote IDA messages, light pollution and astronomical opportunities to the residents and visitors of the South Downs. Originally a Physicist with an interest in astrophysics, Dan has further degrees in Wildlife Management, and a Masters in Environment, Policy and Society , but has happily swapped his time as a ranger with a chainsaw to delivery dark skies outreach behind a telescope. Dan is actively involved in enhancing lighting policy in the UK and is coordinates a UK Dark Sky partnership with protected landscape partners with a goal of developing specific policies for dark skies. He also currently sits on the IDA Dark Sky Places Committee.
Dr Jurgen Schmoll
Jurgen has a PhD in astronomy, working on mostly astronomical instrumentation projects at Durham University as “Senior Optical Engineer.” He is a renowned amateur astronomer with his own observatory housing several telescopes and has an interest in instrument building, astro imaging and outreach. Jurgen is a trustee and volunteer of Wynyard Planetarium and former trustee at Kielder Observatory. As a director of the IDA-UK Chapter, he is interested in technical solutions and educational approaches to curb light pollution.
Paul Gregory, MSLL, MILP
Paul originally trained in audio visual and theatre lighting design after leaving the British Army in 1991 and has spent over 25 years in senior architectural lighting specification. He sits on the IDA (USA) technical committee and is one of the founding directors for the IDA-UK, promoting the IDA Fixture Seal of Approval program to lighting manufacturers. He is an active member of both the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the Society of Light & Lighting (SLL), alongside the Institute of Lighting Professionals (ILP). Paul regularly contributes to debates and white papers on lighting technology and metrics and he is a keen amateur astronomer and conservationist.
Dr Martin Kitching
Martin is the Director and Senior Guide at NEWT and a Director of AstroVentures and he divides his time between leading wildlife, landscape and photography day tours and delivering sessions on a range of astronomy topics for AstroVentures.
Conflict of Interest Policy
Most of the directors, leadership and volunteers of the IDA-UK work within an industry related to lighting and/or dark skies. We take every care to avoid conflicts of interest and a copy of our policy is available on request.