Niall Burton

Head & Principal Ecologist

Niall manages a team of seven staff undertaking pure and applied research on the UK’s waterbirds and seabirds.

Interests & Responsibilities

As Head of the Wetland and Marine Team, Niall oversees BTO’s research into waterbirds and seabirds, working closely with Wetland Bird Survey (WeBS) staff in the BTO's Monitoring Team. The team's research explores the wide range of factors that may affect waterbird and seabird population dynamics, including climate change, habitat change and loss and the impacts of coastal and offshore developments. Niall's personal research work has focussed on assessing how waterbirds (from individuals to groups) respond to disturbance, habitat change and habitat loss.

Other Information

Niall is currently chair of the British Ornithologist's Union (BOU) Meetings Committee and has been a member of the BOU's Council since 2011. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia.

Qualifications

BSc in Physical Geography, Reading University, 1986-1989 MSc in Ecology, University of Durham, 1989-1990 PhD on the roosting behaviour of waders, University of Durham, 1991-1995

Recent BTO Publications

Masden, E.A., Cook, A.S.C.P., McCluskie, A., Bouten, W., Burton, N.H.K. & Thaxter, C.B. 2021. When speed matters: The importance of flight speed in an avian collision risk model. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 90 Elsevier View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.eiar.2021.106622)
Cook, A.S.C.P., Burton, N.H.K., Dodd, S.G., Foster, S., Pell, R.J., Ward, R.M., Wright, L.J. & , Robinson, R.A. 2021. Temperature and density influence survival in a rapidly declining migratory shorebird. Biological Conservation View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109198)
Petrusková, T., Kahounová, H., Pišvejcová, I., Čermáková, A., Brinke, T., Burton, N.H.K. & Petrusek, A. 2021. Evaluating the potential effects of capturing and handling on subsequent observations of a migratory passerine through individual acoustic monitoring. Journal of Avian Biology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/jav.02739)
Humphreys, E.M., Austin, G.E., Frost, T.M., Mellan, H.J., Boersch-Supan, P., Burton, N.H.K., Balmer, D.E. 2021. Wader populations on the UK’s open coast: results of the 2015/16 Non-Estuarine Waterbird Survey (NEWS-III) and a review of population trends. Bird Study 67 : 371-384 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2021.1884184) 14pp
Green, R.M.W., Burton, N.H.K. & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2020. Pilot Tracking Study of the Migratory Movements of Shelduck to Inform Understanding of Potential Interactions with Offshore Wind Farms in the North Sea. Research Report no. 725. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-19-9 54pp


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