Stuart Newson

Stuart Newson

Job Description

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.


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.

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

Member of UK Avian Population Estimates Panel
Research Fellowship to work on 'Bats, Bush-crickets and the Science of Monitoring'
PhD and MSc supervisor
Project manger for Norwich Bat Group
Licensed bird ringer
Member of Natural England's Bat Expert Panel

Recent BTO Publications

Denerley, C., Redpath, S.M., van der Wal, R., Newson, S.E., Chapman, J.W. & Wilson, J.D. 2018. Breeding ground correlates of the distribution and decline of the Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus at two spatial scales. Ibis View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12612)
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)
Border, J.A., Newson, S.E., White, D.C.J. & Gillings, S. 2017. Predicting the likely impact of urbanisation on bat populations using citizen science data, a case study for Norfolk, UK. Landscape and Urban Planning 162 : 44-55 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.02.005)
Newson, S. E., Bas, Y., Murray, A. & Gillings, S. 2017. Potential for coupling the monitoring of bush-crickets with established large-scale acoustic monitoring of bats. Methods in Ecology and Evolution View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12720)
Sullivan, M.J.P., Newson, S.E. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2016. Changing densities of generalist species underlie apparent homogenization of UK bird communities. Ibis 158 (part 3) : 645-655 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12370)

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.