Emma Caulfield

Winter Gull Survey Organiser

Emma is responsible for managing the BTO Winter Gull Survey (WinGS) through the coordination of the BTOs Regional Network of volunteers.

Interests & Responsibilities

Emma is responsible for the national coordination of the Winter Gull Survey (WinGS). The main responsibilities of this role include the coordination of Regional Organisers to cover key sites associated with roosting gulls, promotion and communication with the surveyor network and wider public, production of reports and publications based on results and application of the data for recommendations on the designation of protected areas.  

Emma is interested in seabird ecology and population monitoring in relation to drivers of decline. She is particularly interested in the effects of human disturbance through ecotourism and how handling/tagging impacts birds’ breeding and foraging behaviour. Her master’s thesis focused on tracking the foraging behaviour of Manx Shearwater on the Saltee Islands and investigating the effects of tags on foraging characteristics such as trip duration and dive depth. She has also completed colony-wide monitoring of Manx Shearwaters on the Calf of Man and Gannets on the Saltee Islands. 

Emma also has a passion for citizen science and enjoys community engagement activities, having led a number of walks and talks on seabird identification skills and garden bird calls. Prior to undertaking her current role at BTO, Emma was the Project Manager and Coordinator for a national citizen science project involving the recording of Otters along Irish waterways. This included developing and delivering training information, and coordinating survey efforts across urban areas.

Emma has also managed and coordinated hydromorphological and vegetation surveys of Otter habitat within the rivers of Cork City and County. This involved investigating factors related to the areas where Otters spend most of their time, their physical characteristics and proposing recommendations to planning authorities. 


  • MSc Marine Biology, University College Cork, 2023
  • BSc Zoology, University College Cork, 2022
  • National Powerboat Certificate, Irish Sailing, 2023
  • Personal Survival Techniques (PST) STW-95