Caroline Brighton

Research Ecologist

Caroline is working on various projects using survey data, including modelling the effects of habitat condition on bird population trends, and is also involved in a project to monitor seabird movements
around wind turbines.

Interests & Responsibilities

Before joining the BTO, Caroline spent many years in animal behaviour research, specifically focussing on the visual strategies of raptors as they hunt prey and modelling guidance laws on their attack trajectories. Caroline has a deep concern for the environment and is keen to apply her insights from sensory ecology to the problem of bird collisions with wind turbines. Caroline is also a bird watcher and ringer in her spare time.


PhD in “Attack strategies in birds of prey”, Dept of Biology, Oxford University, 2015
BSc (hons) in Zoology, Dept of Zoology, Leeds University, 2009

Recent BTO Publications

Brighton, C.H., Massimino, D., Boersch-Supan, P., Barnes, A.E., Martay, B., Bowler, D.E., Hoskins, H.M.J. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2024. The benefits of protected areas for bird population trends may depend on their condition. Biological Conservation 292 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2024.110553)

Other Publications

Brighton, C.H., Kempton, J.A., France, L.A., et al.  2023 Obstacle avoidance in aerial pursuit. Current Biology
Brighton, C.H., Kloepper, L.N., Harding, C.D. et al. 2022 Raptors avoid the confusion effect by targeting
fixed points in dense aerial prey aggregations. Nature Communications 
Brighton, C.H.,  Zusi, L., McGowan, K.A., et al. 2021 Aerial attack strategies of hawks hunting bats, and the
adaptive benefits of swarming. Behavioral Ecology 
Brighton, C.H., Chapman, K.E., Fox, N.C., and Taylor, G.K. 2021 Attack behaviour in naive gyrfalcons is
modelled by the same guidance law as in peregrine falcons, but at a lower guidance gain. Journal of
Experimental Biology 
Brighton, C.H. and Taylor, G.K. 2019 Hawks steer attacks using a guidance system tuned for close pursuit
of erratically manoeuvring targets. Nature Communications 
Brighton, C.H., Thomas A.L.R., and Taylor, G.K. 2017 Terminal attack trajectories of peregrine falcons are
described by the proportional navigation guidance law of missiles. Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences 

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