Niall Burton

Head & Principal Ecologist

Niall manages a team of seven staff undertaking pure and applied research on the UK’s waterbirds and seabirds.

Interests & Responsibilities

As Head of the Wetland and Marine Team, Niall oversees BTO’s research into waterbirds and seabirds, working closely with Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) staff in the BTO's Monitoring Team. The team's research explores the wide range of factors that may affect waterbird and seabird population dynamics, including climate change, habitat change and loss and the impacts of coastal and offshore developments. Niall's personal research work has focussed on assessing how waterbirds (from individuals to groups) respond to disturbance, habitat change and habitat loss.

Other Information

Niall is currently chair of the British Ornithologist's Union (BOU) Meetings Committee and has been a member of the BOU's Council since 2011. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia.

Qualifications

BSc in Physical Geography, Reading University, 1986-1989 MSc in Ecology, University of Durham, 1989-1990 PhD on the roosting behaviour of waders, University of Durham, 1991-1995

Recent BTO Publications

Mander, L., Nicholson, I., Green, R., Dodd, S., Forster, R. & Burton, N. 2022. Individual, sexual and temporal variation in the winter home range sizes of GPS-tagged Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2022.2144129)
Langley, L.P., Bearhop, S., Burton, N.H.K., Banks, A.N., Frayling, T., Thaxter, C., Clewley G., Scragg, E. & Votier, S.C. 2022. Urban and coastal breeding lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) segregate by foraging habitat. Ibis View at journal website (DOI: doi.org/10.1111/ibi.13109)
Booth Jones, K., Thaxter, C., Clewley, G., Wolsey, S., Calbrade, N., Atkinson, P., Calladine, J. & Burton, N. 2022. Belfast’s urban gulls: an assessment of breeding populations, breeding season movements and winter population. Research Report no. 734. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-26-7 52pp
Clewley, G.D., Calbrade, N.A., Austin, G.E., Frost, T.M. & Burton, N.H.K. 2022. A review of the BTO/RSPB/JNCC Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) Low Tide Counts scheme with recommendations for its future operation.. Research Report no. 744. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-35-9 52pp
Woodward, I.D., Austin, G.E., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Thaxter, C.B. & Burton, N.H.K 2022. Assessing drivers of winter abundance change in  Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata in England and Wales. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2022.2049205)
Gauld, J.G., Silva, J.P., Atkinson, P.W., Record, P., Acácio, M., Arkumarev, V., Blas, J., Bouten, W., Burton, N., Catry, I., Champagnon, J., Clewley, G.D., Dagys, M., Duriez, O., Exo, M., Fiedler, W., Flack, A., Friedemann, G., Fritz, J., Garcia-Ripolles, C., Garthe, S., Giunchi, D., Grozdanov, A., Harel, R., Humphreys, E.M., Janssen, R., Kölzsch, A., Kulikova, O., Lameris, T.K., López-López, P., Masden, E.A., Monti, F., Nathan, R., Nikolov, S., Oppel, S., Peshev, H., Phipps, L., Pokrovsky, I., Ross-Smith, V.H., Saravia, V., Scragg, E.S., Sforzi, A., Stoynov, E., Thaxter, C., Van Steelant, W., van Toor, M., Vorneweg, B., Waldenström, J., Wikelski, M., Žydelis, R. & Franco, A.M.A. 2022. Hotspots in the grid: avian sensitivity and vulnerability to collision risk from energy infrastructure interactions in Europe and north Africa. Journal of Applied Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14160) 17pp


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