Senior Research Ecologist
Stuart Newson is a Senior Research Ecologist in the Data Science and Bioacoustics team, where he is mainly involved in survey design and analyses of data from large national citizen science surveys.
Interests & Responsibilities
Stuart is known for his innovative, cross-sector research, and was winner of the Marsh Award for Innovative Ornithology in 2018.
Whilst the core of Stuart’s work has been on birds, he has an interest in the sound identification of bats, small terrestrial mammals and bush-crickets. His work on bioacoustics has included creating tools which use machine learning algorithms to identify such species from their ‘calls’. These tools are now integrated into the BTO Acoustic Pipeline, one of the world’s first multi-taxon audible classifiers and ultrasonic classifiers.
The Pipeline combines Stuart’s skill knowledge of acoustic species identification with his interest in using bioacoustics to deliver new opportunities for conservation, and to provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. It integrates online tools for coordinating fieldworkers, processing recordings, and returning engaging feedback to encourage large-scale participation in acoustic surveys.
Stuart is a member of Natural England’s Bat Expert Panel, set up to shape the future of bat conservation in the UK, a member of the IUCN SSC Species Specialist Monitoring Group. He plays an important role in advising others on survey design and analyses of data from large national surveys of wild bird and mammal populations.
- Research Fellowship on Bioacoustics
- PhD and MSc supervisor
- Trustee of Norfolk and Norwich Bat Group
- BSc (Hons) Zoology, Bristol University, 1993-1996
- Ph.D. The colonisation and range expansion of inland breeding great cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo in England. Bristol University, 1998-2000.
Recent BTO Publications
Hughes, B., Bruce, J., Ekins, G.R. & Newson, S.E. 1999. Movements and distribution of inland breeding Cormorants in England. WWT Wetlands Advisory Service report to English Nature. 83pp.
Newson, S.E. & Hughes, B. 1999. Diurnal activity budgets of Goosander Mergus merganser wintering on Chew Valley Lake, North Somerset: Influence of time of day and sex. Wildfowl 49: 173-180.
Newson, S.E., Hughes, B. & Sellers, R.M. 1997. Status and breeding success of Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo in Wales in 1997. CCW Sea Empress Contract Report No. 288. CCW, Bangor. 10pp.
Content Related to Stuart Newson
BTO and bats: solving cryptic puzzles
A trip to a former Benedictine monastery provided our bat acoustics specialist with a unique opportunity to gather recordings of two cryptic bat species.
Detecting Brown Rats on seabird islands
Introduced Brown Rats can devastate seabird colonies, predating both eggs and chicks. Can we use bioacoustic technology to detect and monitor this threat?