Niall Burton

Niall Burton

Job Description

Head of Wetland & Marine Research & Principal Ecologist

Role

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

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

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.

Recent BTO Publications

Clewley, G.D., Scragg, E.S., Thaxter, C.B. & Burton, N.H.K. 2017. Assessing the habitat use of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) From the Bowland Fells SPA.. Research Report no. 694. British Trust for Ornithology ISBN: 9781908581815 60pp
Méndez, V., Gill, J.A., Alves, J.A., Burton, N.H.K. & Davies, R.G. 2017. Consequences of population change for local abundance and site occupancy of wintering waterbirds. Diversity and Distributions : 1 472-4 642 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12653)
Thaxter, C.B., Clark, N.A., Ross-Smith, V.H., Conway, G.J., Bouten, W. & Burton, N.K.H. 2017. Sample size required to characterize area use of tracked seabirds . The Journal of Wildlife Management Wiley Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1002/jwmg.21283) 12pp PDF icon Download Report (916.25 KB)
Chris B. Thaxter, Cat Horswill, Kathryn E. Ross, Graham E. Austin, Dawn E. Balmer and Niall H.K. Burton 2017. Urban Breeding Gull Surveys: A Survey Design Simulation. Research Report no. 699. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-908581-78-5 60pp PDF icon Download Report (1.33 MB), PDF icon Download Report (8.12 MB)
Scragg E S, Thaxter C B, Clewley G D, and Burton N.H.K. 2017. Assessing behaviour of Lesser Black-backed Gulls from the Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA using GPS tracking devices.  . Research Report no. 689. ISBN: 978-1-908581-75-4 53pp PDF icon Download Report (2.79 MB)
Ross-Smith, V.H., Thaxter, C.B., Masden, E.A., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Burton, N.H.K., Wright, L.J., Rehfisch, M.M. & Johnston, A. 2016. Modelling flight heights of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Great Skuas from GPS: a Bayesian approach. Journal of Applied Ecology 53 (part 6) View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12760)