Acclaimed British Biologist Birdwatcher Charged with Spying on Houseguests

courtney-stevenSteven Courtney — an acclaimed British biologist formerly associated with UCSB’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) — faces up to four years in prison for allegedly installing multiple hidden cameras in the bedroom and shower of a Montecito house he sublet to acquaintances. Last month, a tenant called the police after finding a miniature camera disguised as a household electronic device in the house she rented from Courtney, who is 61. A subsequent police search of Courtney’s computer and cell phone files showed he had been viewing the footage for apparent sexual gratification for about a year, police said. Courtney was not formally employed by the NCEAS, but he had rented a desk at its downtown collaborative space for two years; as such, he was granted adjunct status. After the case was filed, said Ben Halpern, the center’s director, he immediately severed ties with him. According to Courtney’s LinkedIn page, he also has offices in Washington, D.C. He has held leadership roles at nonprofits that seek to influence public policy. He is also an ardent birdwatcher, among other things! Read the rest here 10:07