Chris Hewson

Senior Research Ecologist

Chris is a Senior Research Ecologist in International Research Team where he works on the ecology and conservation of Afro-Palaearctic migratory birds and of forest birds across the world. Projects primarily focus of population changes, habitats and migration strategies of these species.

Interests & Responsibilities

Chris is involved in all aspects of research projects on the status, ecology and conservation of Afro-Palaearctic migratory birds and forest birds across the world. Current and recent projects include tracking the migrations of Common Cuckoos through satellite-based radio telemetry, using geolocators to reconstruct the migrations of individual Common Swifts, Nightingales, and Pied Flycatchers, large-scale field surveys of migratory birds across a broad latitudinal transect from the Sahel to the moist tropical forest in West Africa, detailed studies of the winter ecology on migrants in tropical Africa and assessment of the biodiversity value of forests in western Siberia. Previously he has been involved in large-scale studies monitoring the population trends and habitat use of woodland birds in Britain, as well as smaller studies examining a range of processes thought to affect birds in woodlands, such as nest predation by Grey Squirrels and grazing by deer.


BSc (Hons) Geography, Nottingham University, 1989 – 1992 MSc Advanced Ecology, University of Durham, 1993 – 1994 PhD ‘Interactions between resident tits and migratory warblers in an English broadleaved woodland’, Dept. of Zoology, University of Cambridge, 1996 - 2000

Recent BTO Publications

Buchan, C., Gilroy, J.J., Catry, I., Hewson, C.M., Atkinson, P.W. & Franco, A.M.A 2023. Combining remote sensing and tracking data to quantify species’ cumulative exposure to anthropogenic change. Global Change Biology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.16974)
Davies, J.G., Kirkland, M., Miller, M.G.R., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Atkinson, P.W. & Hewson, C.M. 2023. Spring arrival of the Common Cuckoo at breeding grounds is strongly determined by environmental conditions in tropical Africa. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 290 Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2023.0580)
Vickery, J.A., Mallord, J.W., Adams, W.M., Beresford, A.E., Both, C., Cresswell, W., Diop, N., Ewing, S.R., Gregory, R.D., Morrison, C.A., Sanderson, F.J., Thorup, C., Van Wijk, R.E. & Hewson, C.M 2023. The conservation of Afro-Palaearctic migrants: what we are learning and what we need to know. Ibis Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/ibi.13171)
Dufour, P., Åkesson, S., Hellström, M., Hewson, C., Lagerveld, S., Mitchell, L., Chernetsov, N., Schmaljohann, H. & Crochet, P-A. 2022. The Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) as a model to understand the mechanisms of vagrancy and its potential significance for the evolution of new migratory routes. Movement Ecology Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1186/s40462-022-00345-2)
Burgess, M., Castello, J., Davis, T. & Hewson, C. 2022. Loop-migration and non-breeding locations of British breeding Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix. Bird Study 69 : 1-11 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2022.2138825)
Guilherme, J.L., Jones, V.R., Catry, I., Beal, M., Dias, M.P., Oppel, S., Vickery, J.A., Hewson, C.M., Butchart, S.H.M. & Rodrigues, A.S.L. 2022. Connectivity between countries established by landbirds and raptors migrating along the African-Eurasian flyway. Conservation Biology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/cobi.14002)

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