Máire Kirkland

Research Ecologist

Máire is a Research Ecologist in the Framing Futures team and specialises in the analysis of BTO data, especially where these include the integration of field data and geospatial and remote sensing datasets, and the publication of research results.

Interests & Responsibilities

Máire has worked on a number of projects including analysing the survival of oystercatchers on the Wash in relation to shellfish harvesting, exploring the role of restoration and conservation efforts in reducing the occurrence and intensity of wildfires across Endangered Landscape Programme projects in Ukraine, Belarus and Portugal, and modelling the movements of Nightingales and Cuckoos using data from individually-tracked birds.

Máire has a diverse background in both field and desk-based ecological research, exploring different topics ranging from the sustainability of hunting and fishing in Indigenous Amazonian communities to the drivers of wildlife tourism and protected area visitation. These days, she specialises in using quantitative modelling techniques to answer complex ecological questions. 

When she’s not working, Máire spends a lot of her time outdoors climbing, hiking, or looking for and photographing wildlife. 


  • BSc (Joint Hons.): Biology and Anthropology, Durham University, 2009-2012
  • MSc: Conservation, University College London, 2012-2013
  • PhD: The global drivers of wildlife tourism and its future potential in a changing world, Durham University, 2016-2021

Recent BTO Publications

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)
Kirkland, M., Atkinson, P.W., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., De Jong, M., Dowling, T.P.F., Grummoe, D., Critchley, M. & Ashton-Butt, A. 2023. Landscape fires disproportionally affect areas of conservation priority but only under low moisture conditions. Science of The Total Environment 884 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.163849)

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