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. 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.

Other Information


Recent BTO Publications

Newson, S.E., Else, R., Crymble, J., Gilbert, G., Tosh, D.G. & Booth Jones, K.A. 2023. Bioacoustics as a novel approach for detecting the presence of Brown Rats on seabird islands. Research Report no. 755. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, UK ISBN: 978-1-912642-51-9 31pp
Cook, P., Alder, D., Hordley, L., Newson, S.E. & Pengelly, D. 2023. Seeing the wood for the trees, irregular silviculture supports bat populations in conifer plantations. Forest Ecology and Management View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2023.121214)
Newson, S.E., Allez, S.L., Coule, E.K., Guille, A.W., Henney, J.M., Higgins, L., McLellan, G.D., Simmons, M.C., Sweet, E., Whitelegg, D. & Atkinson, P.W. 2023. Bailiwick Bat Survey 2022 Report. Research Report no. 750. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-45-8 90pp
Newson, S.E., Harris, G.T. & Panter, T.L. 2022. Ryevitalise – Bats and Ancient Trees: 2022 Report. Research Report no. 749. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-44-1 53pp
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)

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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