Science Communications Manager
Viola is responsible for promoting BTO science. She also edits BTO News and helps to manage BTO social media.
Interests & Responsibilities
Viola has been working full-time in science communications since 2015. Before then, she was a seabird ecologist for several years, and honed her communcation skills tackling inaccurate coverage of gulls in the media. She holds a BTO C permit for bird ringing. Viola has also worked in campaigns for RSPB, in gibbon conservation in Thailand, and in policy for the European Institutions in Brussels.
QualificationsBA (Hons) Natural Sciences (Zoology), University of Cambridge 2002
PhD Pecking response in Lesser Black-backed Gull chicks Larus fuscus, Cardiff University 2009
Recent BTO Publications
Ross-Smith, V.H., Johnston, A. & Ferns, P.N. 2015. Hatching success in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus - an island case study of the effects of egg and nest site quality. Seabird 28: 1-16.
Ross-Smith, V.H., Conway, G.J., Facey, R.J., Bailey, B.H., Lipton, M., Whitfield, S.A. & Ferns, P.N. 2013. Population size, ecology and movements of gulls breedingon Flat Holm Island. Birds in Wales 10:7-21.
Ferns, P.N. & Ross-Smith, V.H. 2009. Function of coloured bill tips, stripes and spots in breeding gulls. Marine Ornithology 37: 85-92.
Content Related to Viola Ross-Smith
Stories of rampaging 'seagulls' dominate column inches in the holiday season. Our BTO gull experts take a look at the facts behind the headlines.
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Initial findings suggest that Lesser Black-backed Gulls in north-west England fly within wind farms, but may avoid wind turbines once there.
GPS tracks and cutting edge stats shed new light on seabird flight heights
New research led by the BTO has used a combination of GPS-tracking and advanced statistics to provide new insights into seabird flight heights by night and day. This study gives important information on the risk of...