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

Jennifer A. Border, Dario Massimino, Simon Gillings 2018. Potential Future Distribution & Abundance Patterns of Common Buzzards Buteo Buteo. Research Report no. 707. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-908581-95-2 34pp PDF icon Download Report (6.34 MB)
Massimino D., Harris S.J., Gillings, S 2018. Evaluating spatiotemporal trends in terrestrial mammal abundance using data collected during bird surveys. Biological Conservation 226 : 153-167 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2018.07.026)
Martay, B., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Harris, S.J. & Gillings, S. 2018. Monitoring landscape-scale environmental changes with citizen scientists: Twenty years of land use change in Great Britain. Journal for Nature Conservation 44 : 33-42 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.jnc.2018.03.001)
Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Baillie, S.R., Boughey, K., Bourn, N.A.D., Foppen, R.P.B., Gillings, S., Gregory, R.D., Hunt, T., Jiguet, F., Lehikoinen, A., Musgrove, A.J., Robinson, R.A., Roy, D.B., Siriwardena, G.M., Walker, K.J., Wilson, J.D 2018. Overcoming the challenges of public data archiving for citizen science biodiversity recording and monitoring schemes. Journal of Applied Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13180)
Border, J.A., Johnston, A. & Gillings, S. 2018. Can climate matching predict the current and future climatic suitability of the UK for the establishment of non-native birds?. Bird Study 65 : 72-83 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2018.1438362)
Newson, S. E., Evans, H. E., Gillings, S., 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)