Rob Fuller

Rob Fuller

Job Description

Honorary Research Fellow


Following many years as a Director of Science at the BTO, in November 2014 Rob moved into a senior position to undertake research of topics mainly relating to forestry, habitat management and conservation strategies.


BSc Zoology (1st Class), Imperial College, London University 1973 PhD University of London (external), ‘Composition and structure of bird communities in Britain’ 1987

Interests & Responsibilities

  • Rob has extensive experience of working on responses of biodiversity, especially birds, to land-use change and habitat management, mainly in agricultural and forest systems. Principal or co-investigator on >30 biodiversity projects in the last 20 years, contributing to the evidence base for policy and practice.
  • Factors influencing spatial and temporal variation in temperate woodland and shrubland bird communities have been a long-term and ongoing research interest. Particular interests are effects of vegetation structure, successional dynamics and habitat mosaics. Effects of woodland management (including response to ash dieback) and impacts of increasing deer populations on the ecology of lowland woodland have been the major applied areas of focus. He is currently co-editing a book on Ecology and Conservation of Forest Birds.
  • Conservation strategies in forest environments and the design of ecological networks has become an increasingly important part of Rob's work.
  • Rob leads a novel project developing an online system for the long-term monitoring of how biodiversity responds to specific habitat interventions within landscape-scale conservation schemes (joint with The Wildlife Trusts).
  • The ecology of breeding waders, especially their habitat selection and responses to land-use change has been an interest for over 30 years. This work has focused on the Outer Hebrides, Scotland.
  • Rob supervised Bird Atlas 2007-11: The breeding and wintering birds of Britain and Ireland and have edited a major review on bird-habitat relationships, published by Cambridge University Press in November 2012: Birds and Habitat: Relationships in Changing Landscapes.

Other Information

Honorary Professor, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia The RSPB Medal fo services to nature conservation, awarded 2014 Godman-Salvin Medal of the British Ornithologists' Union, awarded 2013

Recent BTO Publications

Robert J. Fuller 2017. Management responses to ash dieback (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) in woodland: implications for woodland structure and resources for biodiversity. Research Report no. 685. British Trust for Ornithology ISBN: 978-1-908581-80-8 50pp
Calladine, J., Humphreys, E.M., Gilbert, L., Furness, R.W., Robinson, R.A., Fuller, R.J., Littlewood, N.A., Pakeman, R.J., Ferguson, J. & Thompson, C. 2017. <h1 lang="en">Continuing influences of introduced hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus as a predator of wader (Charadrii) eggs four decades after their release on the Outer Hebrides, Scotland</h1>. Biological Invasions 19 : 1 981-1 987 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s10530-017-1422-4)
Fuller, R., Marshall, M., Eversham, B., Wilkinson, P. & Wright, K. 2016. The increasing importance of monitoring wildlife responses to habitat management. British Wildlife 27 : 175-186
Feber , R.E., Johnson, P.J., Bell, J.R., Chamberlain, D.E., Firbank, L.G., Fuller, R.J., Manley, W., Mathews, F., Norton,L.R., Townsend, M. & Macdonald, D.W. 2016. Organic Farming: Biodiversity Impacts Can Depend on Dispersal Characteristics and Landscape Context . PLOS ONE 10 (part 8) View at journal website (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135921)
Ian Henderson & Rob Fuller 2016. Review of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Selection Guidelines for Breeding Bird Assemblages. Research Report no. 638. ISBN: 978-1-908581-61-7 25pp PDF icon Download Report (542.96 KB)
Heward, C.J., Hoodless, A.N., Conway,G.J., Aebischer,N.J., Gillings, S. & Fuller, R.J. 2015. Current status and recent trend of the Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola as a breeding bird in Britain. Bird Study early online View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1092497)