Andrew Upton

Senior Research Ecologist

Andrew is the Senior Research Ecologist for Northern Ireland. His primary role is to take the lead on the BTO NI operation. This entails working closely with NIEA/DAERA, nature conservation NGOs and other stakeholders in NI, to deliver an existing programme of funded research, to identify priority areas of future data and information needs, and design, develop, fundraise for, and deliver additional new research to meet the needs of stakeholders across NI.     

Interests & Responsibilities

Before joining BTO, Andrew worked for 13 years with the National Trust, as the Countryside Manager for the East Down property group. Prior to that, he was an employee with the Ulster Wildlife Trust for 10 years, working his way up from Nature Reserves Officer to Nature Conservation Director. He was also a member of the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside from 2009 to 2015, which provided an advisory role to the government.

Andrew has a particular interest in seabirds, having previously worked for JNCC on both the Seabirds at Sea and Seabird Monitoring Programme, Scottish Natural Heritage as the site manager for the Isle of Noss in Shetland, and National Trust as warden for the Farne Islands. He has also volunteered for RSWT in the Seychelles and Department of Conservation in New Zealand. 

Andrew has been an ornithologist for 45 years. He has volunteered for BTO in NI since 2002, primarily undertaking BBS and WeBS. Andrew was one of the professional BBS field surveyors in NI from 2007 to 2021.    

Andrew grew up in the West Midlands, but has lived in Northern Ireland since 2001 with his wife Elaine and daughter Caitlin. He enjoys going walking with their rescue dog Lola, who is an energetic Collie/Lab cross. 



BA (Hons) Countryside Planning, University of Gloucestershire, 1993
HND Countryside Management, Aberystwyth University, 1992

Other Publications

Upton, A.J., Pickerell, G., & Heubeck, M. 2000.  Seabird numbers and breeding success in Britain and Ireland, 1999. Peterborough, Joint Nature Conservation Committee. (UK Nature Conservation, No. 24.) 

Skov, H., Upton, A.J., Reid, J.B., Webb, A., Taylor, S.J, & Durinck, J. 2002. Dispersion and Vulnerability of Marine Birds and Cetaceans in Faroese Waters. Joint Nature Conservation Committee.