Who's Who in WeBS

There are a few key members of the WeBS/GSMP team who spend at least part of their working day beavering away behind the scenes. Here is an intro to who we are and what we do for WeBS and GSMP - click on our names to see our full staff profiles and publications. If you manage to identify us in the field, then please come up and say hello. 

If you need to contact us please use webs [at] bto.org or gsmp [at] bto.org, or for a specific person, use the format of firstname.surname@bto.org (e.g. gillian.birtles@bto.org)

WeBS Manager

As WeBS Manager, Teresa is responsible for overall project management of WeBS and GSMP and delivery of the schemes' operations, improvements, research and reports and other outputs. She works closely with the Partner organisations and other stakeholders and is the person to talk to about future developments and ideas. 

Teresa joined the WeBS team in November 2015. She first worked with WeBS data back in 2005-09, as a statistics research student looking at WeBS wildfowl data analysis. From 2008 to 2015 she worked in Local Environmental Records Centres in Kent and Cumbria, managing habitat and sites datasets and species records of all taxa, increasing effective biodiversity data use and encouraging more people to get in to wildlife recording and monitoring. Teresa is a self-styled "data naturalist" and is a fan of maps, graphs, insects - and birds, of course.

Waterbird Surveys Officer 

For requesting data, articles for Waterbird News, and all things Low Tide and Goose and Swan, Neil is the person to speak to.

After several years walking round East Anglian fields as a BTO fieldworker, Neil took over as the Low Tide Counts Organiser. From 2022 he also took on the role of Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme Organiser. Prior to this Neil worked contracts for the RSPB watching enigmatic Bitterns and Stone Curlews before moving to the Nunnery. Originally from Manchester, despite living in possibly the best birding county in England, Neil still longs for the hills and his old local patch Piethorne Valley…

WeBS Counter Network Organiser

 Gillian Birtles


Whether you are interested in newly joining the scheme or have been counting for many years, for any information about WeBS Core Counts, WeBS Online, getting in contact with your WeBS Local Organiser, site allocation or to make any comments, Gill is the person to contact in the first instance.

Prior to joining the BTO in July 2019, Gill worked in West Yorkshire as an environmental consultant on development projects. Before that, she studied Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moores University and spent her placement year carrying out practical and research work at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust reserve in Slimbridge. It's here that her love for wetlands and birds was nurtured!

Gill is a keen explorer and has also carried out conservation and research work all around the UK, South Africa, Peru and the USA.

Research Ecologist
Ian took over responsibility for the analytical side of WeBS when Graham Austin retired in 2023, and is responsible for generating the species population trends for the annual report  as well as a number of other WeBS programs including the WeBS Alerts Report.  He is currently working with Graham to ‘soak up’ as much as possible of the considerable knowledge that Graham has gained from 25 years working in the WeBS team.

Ian has worked at the BTO Head Office in Thetford since 2014 as a member of the Wetland and Marine team and organises the BTO Heronries Census as part of his role. During that time has also worked on a variety of projects including an analysis of WeBS data for Curlews. Prior to working in Thetford, he worked as a fieldworker for the BTO on several projects and also undertook fieldwork surveying breeding Lapwings and Curlews for the RSPB in Wales. He is originally from east London and studied breeding Tufted Ducks at Walthamstow Wetlands SSSI as part of his MSc Conservation at University College London.

When he is not watching or studying birds, Ian is a keen botanist and undertakes annual surveys of rare Breckland plant species as a member of the Breckland Flora Group. 
Head of Surveys Dawn Balmer

Dawn is Head of Surveys, which includes the teams working on WeBS, GSMP, BBS, WBBS, SMP, BirdTrack and the Heronries Census. Dawn sits on the WeBS Steering Group with Teresa and representatives from the other WeBS partners.

Dawn has worked for the BTO since 1992 on a wide range of census, fieldwork and ringing projects and was the Migration Watch and BirdTrack Organiser from 2002-2006. She was the Atlas Coordinator for the Bird Atlas 2007-11 project, which resulted in the publication of the book in November 2013. She is Chair of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel.

Dawn is a keen birder and ringer and has special interests in migration and gull identification.  In her spare time, she is on the Editorial Board of British Birds, a Trustee of the Eric Hosking Charitable Trust and writes regularly for British Wildlife.

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