Stuart Newson

Senior Research Ecologist

Stuart is a Senior Research Ecologist in the Population Modelling and Ecology Research Team where he is responsible for survey design and analysis of data from large national surveys of wild bird and mammal populations. Projects include a number of collaborations involving the large-scale analyses of bat and bird survey data with UK and overseas university academics and NGO researchers.

Interests & Responsibilities

Stuart has worked on a wide range of questions at BTO relating to migration phenology, impact of climate change, disease and invasive species, but his main interests concern the development and enhancement of monitoring programmes. Recently he has led on delivering Defra funded (SD0493) to develop community and crowd sourced validation of 'Living Maps' and worked as an expert population modeller on Defra (WM0322) to inform on the impact of mitigation for bats. Whilst the core of his work has been on birds, he has a personal interest in bats and acoustic monitoring, and in particular how technology can deliver new opportunities for conservation and provide new ways to engage with larger audiences. 

Stuart set up the Norfolk Bat Survey, a novel citizen science approach for enabling unprecedented large-scale bat recording using static acoustic detectors, an approach which was since extended to a much larger area of southern Scotland, with plans now to develop this idea more widely. He was awarded a Research Fellowship at BTO in 2016 (entitled 'Bats, Bush-crickets and the Science of Monitoring') and has led on designing engaging visualisation web-based tools to encourage large-scale volunteer participation in acoustic surveys.

Other Information

Marsh Award for Innovative Ornithology
Member of Natural England’s Bat Expert Panel
Member of UK Avian Population Estimates Panel
Research Fellowship on Bioacoustics
PhD and MSc supervisor
Norwich Bat Group committee member


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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