Ben Darvill

Ben Darvill



Development & Engagement Manager (Scotland)


Scotland is a large and diverse country with challenging physical and human geography. The remote and rugged nature of many areas is part of the appeal for those of us that choose to live here, but these characteristics also present unique challenges for the BTO. A major part of my role involves trying to improve survey coverage in the more inaccessible areas of Scotland. I co-ordinate BTO's network of voluntary Regional Representatives throughout the country, upon which we so heavily depend.

In addition, my diverse role includes other aspects of BTO's public-facing work, both at a strategic level throughout the UK and 'on the ground' in Scotland. This includes organising conferences, giving talks and running training courses for volunteers. I always looks forward to opportunities to speak directly with our fantastic volunteers and to understand more about what motivates them to participate in our various schemes and surveys. I am also involved in project development, fundraising and media communications.


BSc (Hons) Zoology - University of Southampton (2000 - 2003)
PhD Conservation Genetics - University of Southampton (2003-2007)

I acquired most of the skills that I use in this role while setting up and running The Bumblebee Conservation Trust from its launch in 2006 until joining BTO in 2012.

Research Interests/Responsibilities

I am a conservationist at heart, but also a field naturalist and scientist. BTO is uniquely placed to co-ordinate the activities of many thousands of volunteers in order to provide the unbiased and impartial evidence that underpins good conservation decision-making. I am pleased to be involved in this cycle of support, encouraging people to help make a difference through their birdwatching, and then communicating the results and impacts back to them. 

Other Information

Outside of work I am a keen birder, including as a volunteer for the Scottish Raptor Monitoring Scheme and of course for BTO! I am always happy outdoors, whether it's birds, badgers, otters, moths or reptiles. I also enjoy a range of other outdoor activities including rock climbing, sea-kayaking, fishing and cycling - though always with one eye on the wildlife.

Selected Publications

  • van der Wal, R., Anderson, H., Robinson, A. et al. 2015. Mapping species distributions: A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording.AMBIO 44: S584-S600
  • Hudson, L., Newbold, T., Contu, S. et al. 2014. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution 4: 24, 4701-4735.

Contact Details

Email: ben.darvill [at]
Telephone: 01786 466562
Fax: 01842 750030
Postal address: BTO Scotland, University of Stirling, Stirling, FK9 4LA, UK.