BTO Annual Conference 2019

Friday, December 6, 2019 - 16:00 to Sunday, December 8, 2019 - 13:00
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Volunteer Value: Putting the Science into 'Citizen Science'The Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire once more plays host to BTO’s Annual Conference, bringing together inspiring stories and the latest insights into our changing bird populations.

Highlights of this year's conference will include:

BTO has long championed the value of volunteers as a means of collecting data but those associated with the Trust do so much more than provide the information, as this year’s Swanwick conference celebrates.

Forget ‘CSI:Miami’, welcome to the exciting world of ‘CSI:Aberdeen’ as Professor Martin Collinson kicks off the weekend with a whistle-stop tour of what advances in DNA technology allow us to derive from samples collected by ringers in the field.

The focus on Saturday moves to the amazing results that can be produced when volunteers act to coordinate the efforts of other volunteers, with Jamie Dunning introducing us to the national Twite monitoring network, David Norman presenting preliminary results from last year’s national Blue Tit moult exploration, and Tara Okon outlining how to set up a nest recording group from scratch. The morning finishes with the Witherby Lecture that will see Professor Bob Furness highlight the key role that volunteers play in seabird monitoring across the UK.

As is traditional, the ringers’ meeting will be held on Saturday afternoon in parallel with a
session of BTO staff talks providing updates on Project Owl, WeBS Online, and the role of disease in House Sparrow declines. The Saturday ends with a focus on new technologies, Ben Dolan recounting West Midlands Ringing Group’s adventures with thermal imaging kit, while Nick Whitehouse introduces us to the MOTUS tracking network and the flagship Project Yellow-browed.

Katharine Bowgen starts Sunday with a summary of the BTO’s Welsh Curlew work, followed by Richard Broughton’s guide to Marsh Tit monitoring (now with added Coal Tit) and Malcolm Burgess demonstrating why having large numbers of people monitoring common birds over long time-scales is vital for climate change research. A session on colour ringing, including Jenny Donelan explaining how it allowed her to explore the influence of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler arrival on nesting dates, brings the conference to a close. Join us there!

BTO Annual Conference Progamme 2019


The Hayes Conference Centre Swanwick
DE55 1AU Alfreton
United Kingdom