Head of the Framing Futures team, and Principal Ecologist
Phil is responsible for the portfolio of work in the Framing Futures team.
The focus of the team’s work is to use BTO’s science to track the impacts of, and inform responses to, future climate change, wildlife disease and other new environmental threats to the UK’s wild bird populations.
Interests & Responsibilities
Most recently, Phil’s research has focused on using existing and new datasets to assess the impact of the outbreak of high pathogenicity avian influenza on the UK’s wild bird populations.
His other recent research has focused on:
- African-Eurasian migrant birds;
- the restoration of wetland habitats in Belarus and Ukraine;
- the application of citizen science to a bat monitoring project in the Bailiwick of Guernsey;
- the cumulative impacts of offshore wind installations on seabirds.
Previous work has included:
- developing new methods of modelling migration routes of waterbirds and the associated risk of avian influenza incursion into the UK;
- responding to climate change in the coastal zone by understanding the issues concerning the creation and restoration of coastal wetland habitats (managed realignment);
- understanding the demographic implications of environmental change on bird populations (in particular the harvesting of shellfish);
- the extension of demographic models to estimate the total numbers of migrant birds passing through a site (turnover);
- using stable isotopes to study shorebird migration systems and the application of process-based (i.e. individuals-based) models to conservation issues.
- Honorary Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia
- Editor-in-Chief, Bird Conservation International
- BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of East Anglia. 1991
- PhD The wintering ecology of Twite Carduelis flavirostris and the consequences of sea level rise, University of East Anglia. 1996
- Honorary Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia.
Recent BTO Publications
Content Related to Phil Atkinson
Combining remote sensing and tracking data to quantify species’ cumulative exposure to anthropogenic change
The results showed that although the actual amount of change had been greatest on the breeding grounds, cumulative exposure to changes in direct mortality risk and climate were highest during the Cuckoos’ autumn migra
West African stopover determines timing of Cuckoo arrival
The authors use 11 years of satellite tracking data from 87 male Cuckoos, tagged at 11 sites across the UK, to examine variation in migratory timing throughout the annual cycle and its potential consequences.