Stuart Newson

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, and how bioacoustics can deliver new opportunities for conservation and provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. Stuart’s work on bioacoustics has included creating tools using machine learning algorithms to identify European bats, bush-crickets and small mammal species from their ‘calls’. This has resulted in one of the world’s first multi-taxon acoustic classifiers, which has built into an end-to-end pipeline, “The BTO Acoustic Pipeline”, which 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, and plays an important role in advising others on the survey design and analyses of data from large national surveys on wild bird and mammal populations.

Other Information

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

Newson, S. & Austin, G, 2022. Definition of Favourable Conservation Status for Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo. Natural England Report Natural England Link to publication ISBN: 978-1-78354-723-4 25pp
Border, J.A., Gillings, S., Reynolds, T., Neeve, G. & Newson, S.E. 2022. Can citizen science provide a solution for bat-friendly planning?. Landscape & Urban Planning 223 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104402)
Newson, S.E., Allez, S.L., Coule, E.K., Gillings, S., Harper, J., Henney, J.M., Higgins, L., Simmons, M.C., Sweet, E., Whitelegg, D. & Atkinson, P.W 2022. Bailiwick Bat Survey: 2021 Report. Research Report no. 743. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-34-2 72pp
Newson, S.E., Middleton, N., & Pearce, H. 2020. The acoustic identification of small terrestrial mammals in Britain. British Wildlife 32 : 186-194 Link to publication 10pp
Alder, D.C., Poore, A., Norrey, J., Newson, S.E. & Marsden, S.J. 2020. Irregular silviculture positively influences multiple bat species in a lowland temperate broadleaf woodland. Forest Ecology and Management View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118786)

Other 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.

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