Gavin Siriwardena

Gavin Siriwardena

Job Description

Head of Terrestrial Ecology and Principal Ecologist

Role

Leads the BTO’s Land-Use Research team, which currently comprises up to 15 analytical and field research staff, conducting and supervising pure and applied research on terrestrial bird ecology.

Qualifications

BA Natural Sciences (Zoology), University of Cambridge 1990 PhD Aspects of Vocal Communication in the Carrion Crow, University of Leicester 1995

Interests & Responsibilities

Terrestrial bird ecology at a range of spatial scales, from territories to landscapes, via field experiments and analyses of large-scale, long-term datasets. Research at the BTO has considered migration ecology, cause of decline in woodland birds and methods of population trend analysis, but has focused primarily on farmland birds, contributing directly to government policy on the environment. A major three-year project on the demography of farmland birds (1996-1999), involving detailed analyses of extensive data sets held by the BTO and other organizations, helped to identify causes of decline. Subsequent large-scale projects have tested the hypotheses identified using landscape-scale field experiments and have also considered the likely efficacy of management solutions (2001-2007). More recently, research has focused on testing the agri-environment solutions to farmland bird conservation problems and on measuring the effects of current issues in farmland such as the disappearance of set-aside. A parallel research direction is considering bird-habitat modelling, considering both habitat types per se and habitat heterogeneity. Planned future research directions include further work on heterogeneity and habitat interactions, the ecology of predation and the design and testing of agri-environment solutions to the farmland bird conservation problems that still remain.

Other Information

Member of the Editorial Board of Bird Study. Member of the British Ornithologists’ Union’s council.

Recent BTO Publications

Grafius, D.R., Corstanje, R., Siriwardena, G.M., Plummer, K.E. & Harris, J.A. 2017. A bird's eye view: using circuit theory to study urban landscape connectivity for birds. Landscape Ecology 32 : 1 771-1 787 Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s10980-017-0548-1) 17pp PDF icon Download Report (7.26 MB)
Henrietta Pringle, Gavin Siriwardena and Mike Toms 2017. Informing best practice for mitigation and enhancement measures for barn owls. Research Report no. 692. British Trust for Ornithology ISBN: 978-1-908581-72-3 34pp PDF icon Download Report (1.12 MB)
Cox, D.T.C., Shanahan, D.F., Hudson, H.L., Plummer, K.E., Siriwardena, G.M., Fuller, R.A., Anderson, K., Hancock, S. & Gaston, K.J. 2017. Doses of neighborhood nature: the benefits for mental health of living with nature. BioScience 67 (part 2) : 147-155 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biw173)
Mcmahon, B.J., Purvis, G., Sheridan, H., Siriwardena, G.M. & Parnell, A.C. 2016. A novel method for quantifying overdispersion in count data and its application to farmland birds. Ibis View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12450)
Plummer, K.E., Hale, J.D., O’Callaghan, M.J., Sadler, J.P. & Siriwardena, G.M. 2016. Investigating the impact of street lighting changes on garden moth communities. Journal of Urban Ecology 2 (part 1) View at journal website (DOI: 10.1093/jue/juw004)
Plummer, K.E., Siriwardena, G.M., Conway, G.J., Risely, K. & Toms, M.P. 2015. Is supplementary feeding in gardens a driver of evolutionary change in a migratory bird species?. Global Change Biology 21 : 4 353-4 363 Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13070)