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.
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.
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