Nigel Clark


Business Science Leader


Nigel's role is to oversee all aspects of project procurement and management, and to develop new areas of work for the BTO. He also manages a series of projects in relation to shorebird ecology. 


BSc (Hons) Zoology, University of Nottingham 1974-77
PhD The ecology of Dunlin (Calidris alpina) wintering on the Severn Estuary. University of Edinburgh 1983 

Research Interests/Responsibilities 

The study of shorebirds in relation to migration routes and stopover ecology, population ecology and conservation, especially in relation to fisheries.
The effect of large-scale developments on bird populations. 

Other Information 

Vice chairman of The Little Ouse Headwaters Project
Member of the scientific committee of the Wash Wader Ringing Group 
Coordinator of the UK Spoon-billed Sandpiper Support Group  

Selected Publications

Thaxter, C.B., Ross-Smith, V.H., Bouten, W., Rehfisch, M.M., Clark, N.A., Conway, G.J. & Burton, N.H.K. In press. Seabird-wind farm interactions during the breeding season vary within and between years. Biological Conservation.

Thaxter, C.B., Ross-Smith, V.H., Clark, J.A., Clark, N.A., Conway, G.J., Masden, E.A., Wade, H.M., Leat, E.H.K., Gear, S.C., Marsh, M., Booth, C., Furness, R.W., Votier, S.C. & Burton, N.H.K. 2015. Contrasting effects of GPS device and harness attachment on adult survival of Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus and Great Skuas Stercorarius skua.Ibis 158 (2): 279-290.

Thaxter, C.B., Ross-Smith, V.H., Clark, J., Clark, N.A., Conway, G.J., Marsh, M., Leat, E.H.K & Burton, N.H.K. 2014. A trial of three harness attachment methods and their suitability for long-term use on Lesser Black-backed Gull and Great Skua. Ringing & Migration 29 (2): 65-76.  

McGowan, C.P., Hines, J.E., Nichols, J.D., Lyons, J.E., Smith, D.R., Kalasz, K.S., Niles, L.J., Dey, A.D.,  Clark, N. A., Atkinson, P.W., Minton, C.D.T. & Kendall, W. 2011. Demographic consequences of migratory stopover: linking red knot survival to horseshoe crab spawning abundance. Ecosphere 2 (6): art69. doi:10.1890/ES11-00106.

Burton, N.H.K., Musgrove, A.J., Rehfisch, M.M., & Clark, N.A. 2010. Birds of the Severn Estuary and Bristol Channel: Their current status and key environmental issues. Marine Pollution Bulletin 61: 115-123.

Zöckler, C., Htin Hla, T., Clark, N., Syroechkovskiy, E., Yakushev, N., Daengphayon, S. & Robinson, R. 2010. Hunting in Myanmar is probably the main cause of the decline of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmeus. Wader Study Group Bulletin 117: 1-8.

Gillings, S., Atkinson, P. W., Baker, A.J., Bennett, K.A., Clark, N.A., Cole, K.B., González, P.M., Kalasz, K., Minton, C.D.T., Niles, L.J., Porter, R.C., Inês De Lima Serrano, Sitters, H.P., and Woods, J.L. 2009. Staging Behaviour in Red Knot Calidris canutus in Delaware Bay: Implications for Monitoring Mass and Population Size. The Auk 126: 54-63.

Atkinson, P.W., Baker, A.J., Bennett, K.A., Clark, N.A., Clark, J.A., Cole, K.B., Dekinga, A., Dey, A., Gillings, S., González, P.M., Kalasz, K., Minton, C.D.T., Niles, N.J., Piersma, T., Robinson, R.A. & Sitters, H.P. 2007. Rates of mass gain and energy deposition in Red Knot on their final spring staging site is both time- and condition-dependent. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 885-895.

Gillings, S., Atkinson, P.W., Bardsley, S.L., Clark, N.A., Love, S.E., Robinson, R.A., Stillman, R.A. & Weber, R.G. 2007. Shorebird predation of horseshoe crab eggs in Delaware Bay: species contrasts and availability constraints. Journal of Animal Ecology 76: 503-514.

Haramis, G.M., Link, W.A., Osenton, P.C., Carter, D.B., Weber, R.G., Clark, N.A., Teece, M.A. & Mizrahi, D.S. 2007. Stable isotope and pen feeding trial studies confirm the value of horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus eggs to spring migrant shorebirds in Delaware Bay. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 367-376.

Atkinson, P.W., Baker, A.J., Bennett, K.A., Clark, N.A., Clark, J.A., Cole, K.B., Dey, A., Duiven, A.G., Gillings, S., Gonzalez, P.M., Harrington, B.A., Kalasz, K., Minton, C.D.T., Newton, J., Niles, L.J., Robinson, R.A., de Lima Serrano, I. & Sitters, H.P. 2006. Using stable isotope ratios to unravel shorebird migration and population mixing: a case study with Red Knot Calidris canutus. pp 535-540 in: Boere, G.C., Galbraith, C.A. & Stoud, D.A.(eds) Waterbirds Around the World. The Stationary Office Edinburgh, UK.

Burton, N., Rehfisch, M.M., Clark, N.A. & Dodd, S.G. 2006. Impacts of sudden winter habitat loss on the body condition and survival of redshank Tringa totanus. Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 464-473.

Clark, N.A. 2006. Tidal Barrages and Birds. Ibis 148: 152-157.

Niles, L.J., Sitters, H.P., Dey, A.D., Baker, A.J., Morrison, R.I.G., Hernandez, D., Clark, K.E., Harrington, B.A., Peck, M.K., González, P.M., Bennett, K.A., Kalasz, K., Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A. & Minton, C.D.T. 2006. Status of the Red Knot Calidris canutus rufa in the Western Hemisphere. US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A., Dodd, S.G. & Moss, D. 2005. Changes is fisheries practices and Oystercatcher survival recruitment and body mass in a Marginal fishery. Ardea 93: 199-212.

Atkinson, P.W., Baker, A.J., Bevan, R.M., Clark, N.A., Cole K.B., Gonzalez, P.M., Newton, J., Niles, L.J. & Robinson, R.A. 2005. Unravelling the migration and moult strategies of a long-distance migrant using stable isotopes: Red Knot Calidris canutus movements in the Americas. Ibis 147: 738-749.

Baker, A.J., González, P.M., Piersma, T., Niles, L.J., Inês de Lima Serrano do Nascimento, Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A., Minton, C.D.T., Peck, M. & Aarts, G. 2004, Rapid population decline in Red Knots: fitness consequences of decreased refuelling rates and late arrival in Delaware Bay. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 271: 875-882.

Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A., Clark, J.A., Bell, M.C., Dare, P.J. & Ireland, P.L. 2003. Changes in commercially fished shellfish stocks and shorebird populations in the Wash, England. Biological Conservation 114: 127-141.

Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D., Caldow, R.W.G., McGrorty, S. Le V. Dit Durell, Sarah, E.A., Yates, M.G., Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A., Bell, M.C., Dare, P.J. & Manders, M. 2003. An individual behaviour-based model can predict shorebird mortality using routinely collected shellfishery data. Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 1090-1101.

Burton, N.H.K., Rehfisch, M.M. & Clark, N.A. 2002. Impacts of disturbance from construction work on the densities and feeding behaviour of waterbirds using the intertidal mudflats of Cardiff Bay, UK. Environmental Management 30: 865-871.

Clark, N.A. 1997. Estuarine wader impact assessments: possibilities and pitfalls. pp 17-23 in: Goss-Custard, J., Rufino, R. & Luis, A. (eds) The Effect of Habitat Loss and Change on Water Birds. The Stationery Office.

Henderson, I.G., Langston, R.H.W. & Clark, N.A. 1996. The response of common terns Sterna hirundo to power lines: an assessment of risk in relation to breeding commitment, age and wind speed. Biological Conservation 77: 185-192.

Rehfisch, M.M., Clark, N.A., Langston, R.H.W. & Greenwood, J.J.D. 1996. A guide to the provision of refuges for waders: an analysis of 30 years of ringing data from the Wash, England. Journal of Applied Ecology 33: 673-687.

Goss-Custard, J.D., Clarke, R.T., Briggs, K.B., Ens, B.J., Exo, K.M., Smit, C., Beintema, A.J., Caldow, R.W.G., Catt, D.C., Clark, N.A., Durrel, S.E.A. le V. Dit, Harris, M.P., Hulscher, J.B., Meininger, P.L., Picozzi, N., Pr?s-Jones, R., Safriel, U. & West, A.D. 1995. Population consequences of winter habitat loss in a migratory shorebird. I. Estimating model parameters. Journal of Applied Ecology 32: 337-351.

Clark, N.A. & Pr?s-Jones, R. 1994. The low-tide distribution of waders and Shelduck in the Severn Estuary. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 51: 199-217.

Hill, D., Rushton, S.P., Clark, N., Green, P., & Pr?s-Jones, R. 1993. Shorebird communities on British estuaries: factors affecting community composition. Journal of Applied Ecology 30: 220-234. 

Contact Details

Email: nigel.clark [at]
Telephone: 01842 750050
Fax: 01842 750030
Postal address: British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU, UK.  

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