Daniel Johnston

Research Ecologist

Daniel is a Research Ecologist and part of the Wetland & Marine Research Team. His work primarily involves fieldwork and data analysis contributing to seabird tracking and monitoring projects.

Interests & Responsibilities

Daniel has a broad interest in marine ecology with particular focus on the response of seabird species to changes in the marine environment. Within BTO, Daniel has worked on tracking projects assessing seabird behaviour and distributions in relation to environmental covariates and marine renewable energy devices. He has a particular interest in the impacts of novel marine renewable devices, including tidal stream turbines, on the marine environment and diving seabirds. He has a keen interest in improving the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) targeted for seabirds, through improved knowledge of seabird foraging behaviour. He also has a background in using camera traps and visual observations to investigate seabird diet, kleptoparasitism, and nest predation.


PhD, “Investigating the foraging ecology of black guillemots Cepphus grylle in relation to tidal stream turbines and marine protected areas”, University of the Highlands and Islands (2015 - 2019)

MRes, Marine and Fisheries Ecology, University of Aberdeen (2011 - 2012)

BSc (Hons), Marine and Freshwater Biology, University of Glasgow (2007 - 2011)

Recent BTO Publications

Johnston, D.T., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Davies, J.G., Clewley, G.D., Green, R.M.W., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Cook, A.S.C.P., Burton, N.H.K. & Humphreys, E.M. 2023. Flight heights obtained from GPS versus altimeters influence estimates of collision risk with offshore wind turbines in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus. Movement Ecology 11 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1186/s40462-023-00431-z)
O’Hanlon, N.J., Johnston, D.T., Cook, A.S.C.P., Robinson, R.A. & Humphreys, E.M. 2023. A crowded ocean: the need for demographic and movement data in seabird conservation. Ocean and Coastal Management 244 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2023.106833)
Green, R.M., Thaxter, C.B., Johnston, D.T., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Bouten, W. & Burton, N.H.K. 2023. Assessing movements of Lesser Black-backed Gulls using GPS tracking devices in relation to the Galloper Wind Farm<br /> . British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, UK ISBN: 978-1-912642-54-0
Langlois Lopez, S., Clewley, G.D., Johnston, D.T., Daunt, F., Wildon, J.M., O'Hanlon, N.J. & Masden, E. 2023. Reduced breeding success in Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus due to harness-mounted GPS device. Ibis View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.13247)
Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Humphreys, E.M., Burton, N.H.K., Atkinson, P.W., Pollock, C., Clewley, G.D., Johnston, D.T., O’Hanlon, N.J., Balmer, D.E., Frost, T.M., Harris S.J. & Baker, H. 2023. Highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds in the United Kingdom in 2022: impacts, planning for future outbreaks, and conservation and research priorities.. Research Report no. 752. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-47-2 92pp
Johnston, D.T., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Humphreys, L., Bouten, W., Clewley, G.D., Scragg, E.S., Masden, E.A., Barber, L.J., Conway, G., Clark, N.A., Burton, N.H.K & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2022. Investigating avoidance and attraction responses in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus to offshore wind farms. Marine Ecology Progress Series 686 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps13964)

Other Publications

Johnston, D.T., Furness, R.W., Robbins, A.M.C., Taggart, M.A., Tyler, G., Masden, E.A., 2019. Variations in Black Guillemot Cepphus grylle natal dispersal and philopatry across Britain and Ireland. Bird Study 65, 564–569.

Johnston, D.T., Furness, R.W., Robbins, A.M.C., Tyler, G., Taggart, M.A., Masden, E.A., 2018. Black guillemot ecology in relation to tidal stream energy generation: An evaluation of current knowledge and information gaps. Marine Environmental Research 134, 121–129.

Black, C., Collen, B., Johnston, D., Hart, T., 2016. Why huddle? Ecological drivers of chick aggregations in gentoo penguins, Pygoscelis papua, across latitudes. PLoS ONE 11, e0145676.

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