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.
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.
QualificationsBSc 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
Content Related to Niall Burton
Flight heights obtained from GPS versus altimeters influence estimates of collision risk with offshore wind turbines in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus
As previous BTO research has shown, bird-borne tracking devices are essential for shedding light on seabird flight behaviour.
Avian flu: what next?
The HPAI workshop report includes discussions about the impacts of the disease, planning for future outbreaks, and conservation and research priorities.