Rob Robinson

Associate Director, Research

Rob Robinson

Rob is a member of the senior management team of the British Trust for Ornithology and provide strategic leadership and co-ordination of research across BTO as a whole. Rob has a particular responsibility for the Population Ecology and Modelling and Wetland and Marine Research teams but works closely with Andy Musgrove to ensure the demographic and census monitoring schemes enhance BTO's scientific research.

BSc (Hons) Zoology, Edinburgh University, 1989-1993. PhD Ecology and conservation of farmland birds, University of East Anglia, 1993-1997.

Interests & Responsibilities

Changes in bird populations and distributions are determined by demography, particularly the combination of survival and productivity. Rob's main interest lies in understanding how these processes operate, within an applied context, how the sum of individuals creates them and how they vary at different scales. Much of his recent work at BTO has focussed on combining data from the Ringing and Nest Record Schemes with data on population changes to understand the reasons for population declines. and census schemes to understand the reasons for population declines. This work involves applying novel statistical methods to make better use of  national data and contributes to BirdTrends, the annual assessment of Britain's bird populations. Rob started research with a particular focus on farmland birds, how they use their food supply and how changes in agriculture have, and will, afect them; effects of demographic parameters vary spatially, both geographically and with environmental variables such as habitat; Rob also has an interest in the role that diseases play in bird populations.

Other Information

Honorary Reader, University of East Anglia
Visiting Researcher, Swiss Ornithological Institute
Member, BOU Meetings Committee
Scientific Chair of BOU 2014 Conference and Co-Chair Euring 2017 Analytical Meeting
Member Nominated Trustee, BTO Assured Pension Scheme

Recent BTO Publications

Dadam, D., Robinson, R.A., Clements, A., Peach, W.J., Bennett, M., Rowcliffe, J.M. & Cunningham, A.A. 2019. Avian malaria-mediated population decline of a widespread iconic bird species. Royal Society Open Science 6 (part 7) View at journal website (DOI: 10.1098/rsos.182197)
Tucker, A.M., McGowan, C.P., Robinson, R.A., Clark, J.A., Lyons, J.E., DeRose-Wilson, A., Du Feu, R., Austin, G.E., Atkinson, P.W. & Clark, N.A. 2019. Effects of individual misidentification on estimates of survival in long-term mark–resight studies. The Condor 121 (part 1) Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1093/condor/duy017) 13pp
Jiménez‐Muñoz M., Cole D.J., Freeman S.N., Robinson R.A., Baillie S.R., Matechou E. 2019. Estimating age‐dependent survival from age‐aggregated ringing data—extending the use of historical records. Ecology and Evolution View at journal website (DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4820)
Robinson R.A., Gardner B. 2019. Advances in modelling demographic processes: The Euring 2017 Analytical Meeting. Methods in Ecology and Evolution View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13127)
Geen G.R., Robinson R.A., Baillie S.R. 2019. Effects of tracking devices on individual birds – a review of the evidence. Journal of Avian Biology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/jav.01823)
Musitelli F, Spina F, Møller AP, Rubolini D, Bairlein F, Baillie SR, Clark JA, Nikolov BP, du Feu C, Robinson RA, Saino N, Ambrosini R 2018. Representing migration routes from re‑encounter data: a new method applied to ring recoveries of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) in Europe. Journal of Ornithology 160 : 249-264 Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s10336-018-1612-6) 16pp

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