Chris Thaxter

Job Description

Senior Research Ecologist

Role

Chris's principal role is undertaking research into changes in the abundance and foraging behaviour of seabirds and waterbirds in relation to both man-made impacts and environmental processes. He takes a central role in conducting and developing marine research projects at BTO.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Reading, 1999-2002. MSc Wildlife Conservation and Management, University of Newcastle, 2002-2003. PhD Foraging and Breeding Ecology of Guillemots and Razorbills, University of Leeds, 2005-2008.

Interests & Responsibilities

Chris's post entails a broad spectrum of research projects. Current key research includes the use of bird-borne logging devices to understand foraging behaviour, distribution and interaction of seabirds with offshore windfarms. He recently completed a review into the foraging ranges of UK breeding seabirds with a view to such data being used as a preliminary tool in identifying candidate marine protected areas (MPAs). Recent work has also explored the use of sea-watching data for monitoring the non-breeding movements of species past our coasts. Chris is also involved in environmental impace assessments of renewable energy developments on waterbird and seabird populations. He is involved in numerous other projects investigating the impacting of offshore developments on birds, and have previously completed a review of the use high definition imagery technology for surveying seabirds and marine mammals.

Other Information

Chris has a broad interest in the natural sciences with a research background in seabird ecology. He has a keen interest in seabird foraging behaviour, population ecology, and life-history environment interactions. He is an ordinary Member of the Seabird Group, and am a guest lecturer as part of BSc and MSc University modules.

Recent BTO Publications

Clewley, G.D., Scragg, E.S., Thaxter, C.B. & Burton, N.H.K. 2017. Assessing the habitat use of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) From the Bowland Fells SPA.. Research Report no. 694. British Trust for Ornithology ISBN: 9781908581815 60pp
Thaxter, C.B., Buchanan, G.M., Carr, J., Butchart, S.H.M., Newbold, T., Green, R.E., Tobias, J.A., Foden, W.B., O'Brien, S. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2017. Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality with wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment.. Proc. R. Soc. B. 284 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2017.0829)
Thaxter, C.B., Clark, N.A., Ross-Smith, V.H., Conway, G.J., Bouten, W. & Burton, N.K.H. 2017. Sample size required to characterize area use of tracked seabirds . The Journal of Wildlife Management Wiley Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21283) 12pp PDF icon Download Report (916.25 KB)
Chris B. Thaxter, Cat Horswill, Kathryn E. Ross, Graham E. Austin, Dawn E. Balmer and Niall H.K. Burton 2017. Urban Breeding Gull Surveys: A Survey Design Simulation. Research Report no. 699. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-908581-78-5 60pp PDF icon Download Report (1.33 MB), PDF icon Download Report (8.12 MB)
Scragg E S, Thaxter C B, Clewley G D, and Burton N.H.K. 2017. Assessing behaviour of Lesser Black-backed Gulls from the Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA using GPS tracking devices. Research Report no. 689. ISBN: 978-1-908581-75-4 53pp PDF icon Download Report (2.79 MB)
Ross-Smith, V.H., Thaxter, C.B., Masden, E.A., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Burton, N.H.K., Wright, L.J., Rehfisch, M.M. & Johnston, A. 2016. Modelling flight heights of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Great Skuas from GPS: a Bayesian approach. Journal of Applied Ecology 53 (part 6) View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12760)

Other publications

Thaxter, C.B., Redfern, C.P.F. & Bevan, R.M. 2006. Survival rates of adult Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus at a northern and southern site in EnglandRinging & Migration 23 : 65-79 View Abstract