Kate Plummer

Senior Research Ecologist

Kate's principal role is to conduct research into avian responses to environmental change, particularly urbanisation. Kate uses BTO’s large-scale citizen science datasets and novel field surveys to address important questions about urban wildlife.

Interests & Responsibilities

Kate's research interests lie in the relationships between people and wildlife. She studies how species and communities respond to human-induced environmental change, as well as how people might benefit from the wildlife they experience in urban areas. Kate does this by combining aspects of avian, urban and behavioural ecology. She works closely with the Garden BirdWatch (GBW) team to develop and address research questions concerning the wildlife in our gardens.

Key areas of interest:

  • Understanding how gardens and their resources influence wild bird populations
  • The implications of garden bird feeding
  • Investigating how birds can affect human well-being
  • The effects of urbanisation on bird species distributions and trends
  • The consequences of street lighting on British moths communities

Other Information

Kate is based at the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology and Conservation, where she has an honorary position as a Visiting Researcher.


2011 PhD Behavioural Ecology, University of Exeter
2007 MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology, University of Exeter
2006 BSc Biology, University of Nottingham

Recent BTO Publications

Pirzio-Biroli, A., Crowley, S.L., Siriwardena, G.M., Plummer, K.E., Schroeder, J. & White, R.L. 2024. Not in the countryside please! Investigating UK residents’ perceptions of an introduced species, the ring-necked parakeet (Psittacula krameri). NeoBiota 93 : 1-24 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3897/neobiota.93.110122)
Cooper, J.E.J., Plummer, K.E., Middlebrook, I. & Siriwardena, G.M. 2024. Using butterfly survey data to model habitat associations in urban developments. Journal of Applied Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14583)
Plummer, K.E., Dadam, D., Brereton, T., Dennis, E.B., Massimino, D., Risely, K., Siriwardena, G.M. & Toms, M.P. 2023. Trends in butterfly populations in UK gardens - new evidence from citizen science monitoring. Insect Conservation and Diversity Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/icad.12645)
Cooper, J.E.J., Plummer, K.E. & Siriwardena, G.M. 2023. Using species-habitat models to predict bird counts from urban development plans. Landscape and Urban Planning 230 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104629)
Goddard, M.A., Davies, Z.G., Guenat, S., Ferguson, M.J., Fisher, J.C., Akanni, A., Ahjokoski, T., Anderson, P.M.L., Angeoletto, F., Antoniou, C., Bates, A.J., Barkwith, A., Berland, A., Bouch, C.J., Rega-Brodsky, C.C., Byrne, L.B., Cameron, D., Canavan, R., Chapman, T., Connop, S., Crossland, S., Dade, M.C., Dawson, D.A, Dobbs,C., Downs, C.T., Ellis, E.C., Escobedo, F.J., Gobster, P., Gulsrud, N.M., Guneralp, B., Hahs, A.K., Hale, J.D., Hassall, C., Hedblom, M., Hochuli, D.F., Inkinen, T., Ioja, I.-C., Kendal, D., Knowland, T., Ingo Kowarik, I., Langdale, S.J., Lerman, S.B., MacGregor-Fors, I., Manning, P., Massini, P., McLean, S., Mkwambisi, D.D., Ossola, A., Luque, G.P., Pérez-Urrestarazu, L., Perini, K., Perry, G., Pett, T.J., Plummer, K.E., Radji, R.A., Roll, U., Potts, S.G., Rumble, H., Sadler, J.P., de Saille, S., Sautter, S., Scott, C.E., Shwartz, A., Smith, T., Snep, R.P.H. et al 2021. A global horizon scan of the future impacts of robotics and autonomous systems on urban ecosystems. Nature Ecology & Evolution View at journal website (DOI: 10.1038/s41559-020-01358-z) 21pp
Plummer, K.E., Gillings, S. & Siriwardena, G.M. 2020. Evaluating the potential for bird‐habitat models to support biodiversity‐friendly urban planning. Journal of Applied Ecology 57 : 1 902-1 914 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13703)

Other Publications

Mainwaring, M., Hartley, I., Bearhop, S., Brulez, K., du Feu, C., Murphy, G., Plummer, K.E., Webber, S., Reynolds, J.S. & Deeming, C.D.  2012. Latitudinal variation in blue tit and great tit nest characteristics indicates environmental adjustment.  Journal of Biogeography 39 1669-1677. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2012.02724.x/full

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