Senior Research Ecologist
Chris's principal role is undertaking research into changes in the abundance and foraging behaviour of seabirds and waterbirds in relation to both man-made impacts and environmental processes. He takes a central role in conducting and developing marine research projects at BTO.
Interests & Responsibilities
Chris's post entails a broad spectrum of research projects. Current key research includes the use of bird-borne logging devices to understand foraging behaviour, distribution and interaction of seabirds with offshore windfarms. He recently completed a review into the foraging ranges of UK breeding seabirds with a view to such data being used as a preliminary tool in identifying candidate marine protected areas (MPAs). Recent work has also explored the use of sea-watching data for monitoring the non-breeding movements of species past our coasts. Chris is also involved in environmental impace assessments of renewable energy developments on waterbird and seabird populations. He is involved in numerous other projects investigating the impacting of offshore developments on birds, and have previously completed a review of the use high definition imagery technology for surveying seabirds and marine mammals.
Chris has a broad interest in the natural sciences with a research background in seabird ecology. He has a keen interest in seabird foraging behaviour, population ecology, and life-history environment interactions. He is an ordinary Member of the Seabird Group, and am a guest lecturer as part of BSc and MSc University modules.
QualificationsBSc (Hons) Geography, University of Reading, 1999-2002. MSc Wildlife Conservation and Management, University of Newcastle, 2002-2003. PhD Foraging and Breeding Ecology of Guillemots and Razorbills, University of Leeds, 2005-2008.
Other PublicationsThaxter, C.B., Redfern, C.P.F. & Bevan, R.M. 2006. Survival rates of adult Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus at a northern and southern site in England. Ringing & Migration 23 : 65-79 View Abstract
Recent BTO Publications
Content Related to Chris Thaxter
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.
Wind farms and biodiversity: a collision course?
The development of green energy is more important than ever. One of the most well-developed and cheaply available options is wind power, but there is evidence that wind farms can also have a negative impact on...
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...