Chris Thaxter

Senior Research Ecologist

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.

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.

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.

Recent BTO Publications

Clewley, G.D., Clark, N.A., Thaxter, C.B., Green, R.M., Scragg, E.S. & Burton, N.H.K. 2021. Development of a weak-link wing harness for use on large gulls (Laridae): methodology, evaluation and recommendations. Seabird 33 : 18-34 17pp
Langley, L.P., Bearhop, S., Burton, N.H.K., Banks, A.N., Frayling, T., Thaxter, C., Clewley G., Scragg, E. & Votier, S.C. 2021. GPS tracking reveals landfill closures induce higher foraging effort and habitat switching in gulls. Movement Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1186/s40462-021-00278-2) 13pp
Kettel, E., Thaxter, C.B., Oppel, S., Carryer, A., Innis, L. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2021. Better utilisation and transparency of bird data collected by powerline companies. Journal of Environmental Management 302 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.114063) 9pp
Mander, L., Scapin, L., Thaxter, C.B., Forster, R. & Burton, N.H.K. 2021. Long term changes in the abundance of benthic foraging birds in a restored wetland. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution View at journal website (DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2021.673148) 13pp
Clewley, G. D., Barber, L.J., Conway, G.J., Clark, N.A., Donato, B.J., Thaxter, C.B. & Burton, N.H.K. 2021. Foraging habitat selection by breeding Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) from a declining coastal colony in the United Kingdom. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 261 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.ecss.2021.107564) 8pp
Clewley, G.D., Thaxter, C.B., Humphreys, E.M., Scragg, E.S., Bowgen, K.M., Bouten, W., Masden, E.A. & Burton, N.H.K. 2021. Assessing movements of Lesser Black-backed Gulls using GPS tracking devices in relation to the Walney Extension and Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farms. Research Report no. 738. ISBN: 978-1-912642-27-4

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


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