Rachel Taylor

Senior Ecologist

Rachel acts as scientific liaison and research lead for Wales. Environmental law and the main drivers of ecological change differ between the Principality and England, and her job is to ensure that Welsh research priorities are reflected in BTO’s portfolio; that Welsh projects are developed and can be managed locally; and that Welsh policy and environmental audiences maintain a good understanding and appreciation of the BTO’s research activity.

Interests & Responsibilities

Rachel takes a lead in developing BTO’s scientific profile in Wales, developing regionally appropriate projects and in managing local projects in the Principality.

Her particular research interests are in the use of long-term ringing datasets to monitor survival in wading birds; biophysical indicators of body and environmental condition in birds; and the use of tracking technology to study individuals’ use of spatially complex landscapes such as upland farmland.

Rachel has a parallel research background in greenhouse gas emission and carbon sequestration modelling in agricultural systems, which helps inform BTO’s work on the wider ecosystem services implications of landscape management for both biodiversity and agricultural production.

Other Information

Active wader, seabird and passerine ringer, and stained glass artist.


  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biochemistry, Physiology and Nutrition; Reading University, 1991-1994
  • MSc (Distinction) Wildlife Management and Control; Reading University 1998
  • PhD ‘Birds using a contemporary Neotropical landscape' (Bangor University and Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica), 2006

Recent BTO Publications

Gardner, E., Robinson, R.A., Julian, A., Boughey, K., Langham, S., Tse-Leon, J., Petrovskii, S., Baker, D.J., Bellamy, C., Buxton, A., Franks, S., Monk, C., Morris, N., Park, K.J., Petrovan, S., Pitt, K., Taylor, R., Turner, R.K., Allain, S.J.R., Bradley, V., Broughton, R.K., Cartwright, M., Clarke, K., Cranfield, J., Fuentes-Montemayor, E., Gandola, R., Gent, T., Hinsley, S.A., Madsen, T., Reading, C., Redhead, J.W., Reveley, S., Wilkinson, J., Williams, C., Woodward, I., Baker, J., Briggs, P., Dyason, S., Langton, S., Mawby, A., Pywell, R.F. & Bullock, J.M. 2024. A family of process-based models to simulate landscape use by multiple taxa. Landscape Ecology Link to publication View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s10980-024-01866-4)
Hereward, H.F.R., Macgregor, C.J., Gabb, O., Connell, A., Thomas, R.J., Cross, A.V. & Taylor, R.C. 2024. Modelling population-level impacts of wind farm collision risk on Welsh Red Kites. Research Report no. 766. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford
Thaxter, C.B., Green, R.M.W., Collier, M.P., Taylor, R.C., Middelveld, R.P., Scragg, E.S., Wright, L.J., Cook, A.S.C.P. & Fijn, R.C. 2024. Behavioural responses of Sandwich terns following the construction of offshore wind farms. Marine Biology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1007/s00227-023-04353-7)
Kenobi, K., Read, W., Bowgen, K., Macgregor, C., Taylor, R., Cámaro García, W., Hodges, C., Dennis, P. & Holloway, P. 2023. Lasso Penalisation identifies consistent trends over time in landscape and climate factors influencing the wintering distribution of the Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata). Ecological Informatics View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2023.102244)
Bowgen, K.M., Dodd, S.G., Lindley, P., Burton, N.H.K. & Taylor, R.C. 2022. Curves for Curlew: Identifying Curlew breeding status from GPS tracking data. Ecology and Evolution 12 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1002/ece3.9509)
Bowgen, K.M., Wright, L.J., Calbrade, N.A., Coker, D., Dodd, S.G., Hainsworth, I., Howells, R.J., Hughes, D.S., Jenks, P., Murphy, M.D., Sanderson, W.G., Taylor, R.C. & Burton, N.H.K 2022. Resilient protected area network enables species adaptation that mitigates the impact of a crash in food supply. Marine Ecology Progress Series 681 : 211-225 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps13922) 15pp

Other Publications

Gibbons, JM, Williamson, JC, Williams, AP, Withers, PJ, Hockley, N, Harris, IA, Hughes, JW, Taylor, RC, Jones, DL & Healey, JR.  2014, 'Sustainable nutrient management at field, farm and regional level: Soil testing, nutrient budgets and the trade-off between lime application and greenhouse gas emissions' Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, vol 188, pp. 48-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.agee.2014.02.016.

R. C. Taylor, H. Omed, G. Edwards-Jones. 2014. The greenhouse emissions footprint of free-range eggs. Poult Sci 2014; 93 (1): 231-237. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03489.

Wyn Jones RG, Taylor RC, Omed HM, Edwards-Jones G. 2011. Climatic mitigation, adaptation and dryland food production. Proceedings of the International Dryland Development Commission (IDDC) Tenth International Conference on Dry Land Development

Harvey, C. A.; C. Villanueva; J. Villacís; M. Chacón; D. Muñoz; M. López; M. Ibrahim; R. Taylor; J.L. Martínez; A. Navas; J. Sáenz; D. Sánchez; A. Medina; S. Vílchez; B. Hernández; A. Pérez; F. Ruiz; F. López; I. Lang; S. Kunth; F.L. Sinclair. 2005. Contribution of live fences to the ecological integrity of agricultural landscapes in Central America. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 111: 200-230.

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