Harry Ewing

Research Ecologist

Harry is currently working alongside Natural England and the Curlew Recovery Partnership to test solutions for Curlew recovery in England. His primary roles are to conduct fieldwork in Breckland, East Anglia, and to coordinate data collection, analysis and reporting on behalf of the project partners.

Interests & Responsibilities

Harry has a diverse background in ornithological research, having led and assisted on projects exploring everything from the dynamics of mixed species bird flocks in sub-tropical China to the impacts of beaver species on breeding wildfowl in Finland. He is particularly interested in understanding how different conservation actions can be targeted to reverse population declines of threatened species, and how management can exploit demographic and phenological variation to achieve this.

Harry has a passion for fieldwork and breeding waders, stemming from an exciting summer spent in southern Iceland monitoring over 300 nests of nine wader species. Following this, Harry’s research has focused on understanding how to conserve and restore threatened wader populations, including studying the impacts of afforestation on wader distribution and breeding success. He has recently completed his PhD in the ecology and conservation of the Curlew.

Harry’s strong knowledge and experience of breeding waders is well utilised in his current role, in which he is working to inform the deployment of interventions to boost Curlew populations in the English lowlands. He works closely with other BTO researchers including Sam Franks, Paul Noyes and Mark Wilson, as well as a range of external stakeholders including farmers, gamekeepers and the Ministry of Defence.

Outside of work, Harry is a keen birder and enjoys walking, wild swimming, cycling and watching sports.


  • BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of East Anglia, 2014
  • MSc Applied Ecology and Conservation, University of East Anglia, 2017
  • PhD, University of East Anglia: ‘Local- and landscape-scale management for threatened breeding wader populations’, 2023

Recent BTO Publications

Ewing, H., Franks, S., Smart, J., Burton, N. & Gill, J.A. 2022. Nest survival of threatened Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) breeding at low densities across a human-modified landscape. Ibis View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.13180)

Other Publications

Palsdottir, A.E., Gill, J.A., Alves, J.A., Pálsson, S., Méndez, V., Ewing, H. & Gunnarsson, T.G. 2022. Subarctic afforestation: Effects of forest plantations on ground‐nesting birds in lowland Iceland. Journal of Applied Ecology 59(10): 456–2467

Laidlaw, R., Smart, J., Ewing, H., Franks, S., Belting, H., Donaldson, L., Hilton, G., Hiscock, N., Hoodless, A., Hughes, B. & Jarrett, N. 2021. Predator management for breeding waders: a review of current evidence and priority knowledge gaps. Wader Study 128(1): 44–55

Gu, H., Chen, J., Ewing, H., Liu, X., Zhao, J. & Goodale, E. 2017. Heterospecific attraction to the vocalizations of birds in mass-fruiting trees. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 71: 1–11

Mammides, C., Goodale, U.M., Corlett, R.T., Chen, J., Bawa, K.S., Hariya, H., Jarrad, F., Primack, R.B., Ewing, H., Xia, X. & Goodale, E. 2016. Increasing geographic diversity in the international conservation literature: A stalled process? Biological Conservation 198: 78–83

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