Liz Humphreys

Principal Ecologist - Seabirds

Liz's current job is to develop research projects principally concerned with wetland and marine issues. Her most recent work has focused on understanding the impacts of the renewable industry on seabirds. Previously to joining the BTO, Liz's main research interests involved quantifying the factors that determine the foraging performance and energetics of seabirds.

Interests & Responsibilities

As well as her commitments to the Wetland & Marine team within the BTO, Liz also worked on a diverse range of topics including machair, urban and woodland ecology. She has also worked on a number of policy relevant projects including the management of goose management populations in Scotland.

Other Information

Honorary Lecturer, SBES, University of Stirling
Former editor of the Seabird Group Newsletter and member of its Executive Committee
European representative of the World Seabird Union


BSc (Hons) Environmental Biology, University of St Andrews, 1991-1995 MSc Ecology, University of Aberdeen, 1997-1998. PhD Kittiwake Foraging and Energetics, University of Stirling, 1998-2002.

Recent BTO Publications

van Bemmelen, R., Moe, B., Schekkerman, H., Hanssen, S.A., Snell, K., Humphreys, L., Mäntylä, E., Hallgrimsson, G.T., Gilg, O., Ehrich, D., Calladine, J., Hammer, S., Harris, S., Lang, J., Vignisson, S., Kolbeinsson, Y., Kimmo, N., Sillanpää, M., Sittler, B., Sokolov, A., Klaassen, R., Phillips, R. & Tulp, I. 2024. Synchronous timing of return to breeding sites in a long-distance migratory seabird with ocean-scale variation in migration schedules. Movement Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1186/s40462-024-00459-9)
O'Hanlon, N.J., van Bemmelen, R.S.A., Snell, K.R.S., Conway, G.J, Thaxter, C.B., Aiton, H., Aiton, D., Balmer, D.E., Are Hanssen, S., Calladine, J.R., Hammer, S., Harris, S.J., Moe, B., Schekkerman, H., Tulp, I. & Humphreys, E.M. 2024. Cross population comparison of complex migration strategies in a declining oceanic seabird. Marine Ecology Progress Series 730 : 113-129 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps14533)
O’Hanlon, N.J., Thaxter, C.B., Clewley, G.D., Davies, J.G., Humphreys, E.M., Miller, P.I. Pollock, C.J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Weston, E. & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2024. Challenges in quantifying the responses of Black-legged Kittiwake to habitat variables and local stressors due to individual variation. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2024.2305169)
Davies, J.G., Humphreys, E.M., Evans, T., Howells, R., O’Hara-Murray, R. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2023. Seabird abundances projected to decline in response to climate change in Britain and Ireland. Marine Ecology Progress Series View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps14462)
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)

Other Publications

Humphreys, E.M., Gillings, S., Musgrove, A., Austin, G., Marchant, G, and Calladine J 2015. An update of the review on the impacts of piscivorous birds on salmonid populations and game fisheries in Scotland. Commissioned Research Report to SNH.

Cook, A.S.C.P., Still, D.A., Humphreys, E.M. & Wright, L.J. 2015. Review of evidence for identified seabird aggregations. JNCC Report No 537. JNCC, Peterborough.

Humphreys, E.M. Austin, G.E., Thaxter, C., Johnston, A., Risely, K., Frederiksen, M. & Burton, N.H.K. 2014. Development of MSFD Indicators, Baselines and Targets for Population Size and Distribution of Marine Birds in the UK. Report to JNCC.

MMO 2014. Review of post-consent offshore wind farm monitoring data associated with licence conditions. A report produced for the Marine Management Organisation, pp 194. MMO Project No:1031. ISBN: 978-1-909452-24-4.

Mackenzie, M.L., Scott-Hayward, L.A.S., Oedekoven, C.S., Skov, H., Humphreys, E. and Rexstad, E. 2013. Statistical Modelling of Seabird and Cetacean data: Guidance Document.  University of St. Andrews contract for Marine Scotland, SB9 (CR/2012/05).

Humphreys, E.M., Kirkland, P., Russell, S., Sutcliffe, R., Coyle, J. & Chamberlain, D. 2012. Urban Biodiversity: Successes and Challenges: The Biodiversity in Glasgow (BIG) project: the value of volunteer participation in promoting and conserving urban biodiversity. The Glasgow Naturalist Volume 25, Part 4.

Humphreys, L., Winterbottom, S., Smith, M., Humphrey, J., Ockendon, N., & Chamberlain, D. 2008. Development of a methodology for predicting the impact of demographic change and urban development on biodiversity. Report to SNIFFER.

Daunt, F., Camphuysen, C.J., Humphreys, E.M., Hamer, K.C., Wanless, S. & Skov, H. 2005. Local/daily scale hydrography, prey and seabird interactions. In Understanding Marine Food-web Processes: an Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Sandeel Fisheries in the North Sea: IMPRESS Final Report (ed C.J. Camphuysen), pp 163-180. NIOZ-rapport, 2005-5, NIOZ, Texel, Netherlands.

Summers, R.W., Humphreys, E.M., Newall, M. & Donald, C. 2002. Nest site selection by Crossbills Loxia spp. in ancient native woodlands at Abernethy Forest, Strathspey, Highland. Bird Study 49:258-262.

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