Chris Thaxter

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.

Other Information

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.

Qualifications

BSc (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.

Recent BTO Publications

O’Hanlon, N.J., Thaxter, C.B., Clewley, G.D., Davies, J.G., Humphreys, E.M., Miller, P.I. Pollock, C.J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Weston, E. & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2024. Challenges in quantifying the responses of Black-legged Kittiwake to habitat variables and local stressors due to individual variation. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2024.2305169)
Martín Vélez, V., Cano-Povedano, J., Cañuelo-Jurado, B., López-Calderón, C., Céspedes, V., Ros, M., Sánchez, M.I., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Müller, W., Thaxter, C.B., Camphuysen, C.J., Cózar & Green, A.J. 2024. Leakage of plastics and other debris from landfills to a highly protected lake by wintering gulls. Waste Management 177 : 13-23 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2024.01.034)
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)
Johnston, D.T., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Davies, J.G., Clewley, G.D., Green, R.M.W., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Cook, A.S.C.P., Burton, N.H.K. & Humphreys, E.M. 2023. Flight heights obtained from GPS versus altimeters influence estimates of collision risk with offshore wind turbines in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus. Movement Ecology 11 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1186/s40462-023-00431-z)
Cook, A.S.C.P., Thaxter, C.B., Davies, J., Green, R.M.W., Wischnewski, S. & Boersch-Supan, P. 2023. Understanding seabird behaviour at sea part 2: improved estimates of collision risk model parameters. Link to publication ISBN: 978-1-83521-271-4
van Bemmelen, R.A., Leemans, J.J., Collier, M.P., Green, R.M.W., Middelveld, R.P., Thaxter, C.B. & Fijn, R.C. 2023. Avoidance of offshore wind farms by Sandwich Terns in the North Sea increases with turbine density. Ornithological Applications View at journal website (DOI: 10.1093/ornithapp/duad055)

Other Publications

Thaxter, 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 EnglandRinging & Migration 23 : 65-79 View Abstract


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