Simon Gillings

Job Description

Head of Population Ecology & Modelling & Principal Ecologist

Role

Simon leads a dynamic team of seven research ecologists tackling applied questions using a combination of intensively collected field data and large-scale datasets collected by BTO citizen scientists.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of East Anglia, 1992-1995 PhD Diurnal and nocturnal ecology of Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria and Lapwings Vanellus vanellus wintering on arable farmland, University of East Anglia, 1999-2003

Interests & Responsibilities

Simon's main interests concern the factors shaping bird distributions and what causes them to change through time. Simon was lead analyst for the recently published Bird Atlas 2007-11 and is now actively engaged in research to understand what has driven the significant range changes that were documented. This work includes consideration of urbanisation, management of agricultural land, upland issues and climate change. Simon oversees related work via the research programme of the Breeding Bird Survey. He has a long-standing interest in the ecology and foraging behaviour of shorebirds, including Lapwings and Golden Plovers.

Other Information

Simon is a keen birder and avid user of BirdTrack. As such he is always keen to see the use of birdwatchers' records for research and conservation through appropriate analytical design and novel data visualisation. A recent example is the production of data-driven calendar wheels and novel seasonal abundance maps for the Collins-BTO Guide to British Birds.

Recent BTO Publications

Newson, S. E., Evans, H. E., Gillings, S.G., Jarret, D., Raynor, R., Wilson, M. W. 2017. Large-scale citizen science improves assessment of risk posed by wind farms to bats in southern Scotland. Biological Conservation 215 : 61-71 Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.09.004)
Massimino, D., Johnston, A., Gillings, S., Jiguet, F. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2017. Projected reductions in climatic suitability for vulnerable British Birds.. Climatic Change View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s10584-017-2081-2)
Franks, S.E., Douglas, D.J.T., Gillings, S. & Pearce-Higgings, J.W. 2017. Environmental correlates of breeding abundance and population change of Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata in Britain. Bird Study 64 (part 3) Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2017.1359233)
Stanbury, A., Brown, A., Eaton, M., Aebischer, N., Gillings, S., Hearn, R., Noble, D., Stroud, D. & Gregory, R. 2017. The risk of extinction for birds in Great Britain. British Birds 110 : 502-517
Harris, S.J., Massimino, D., Gillings, S.E., Eaton, M.A, Noble, D.G., Balmer, D.E., Procter, D. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2017. The Breeding Bird Survey 2016. Research Report no. 700. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford PDF icon Download Report (4.08 MB)
Border, J.A., Newson, S.E., White, D.C.J. & Gillings, S. 2017. Predicting the likely impact of urbanisation on bat populations using citizen science data, a case study for Norfolk, UK. Landscape and Urban Planning 162 : 44-55 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.02.005)