Philipp Boersch-Supan

Senior Ecological Statistician

Philipp analyses data from various BTO surveys and research projects. He also advises across the organisation on statistical techniques used for scientific analysis and survey design.

Interests & Responsibilities

Philipp is broadly interested in using statistical and mathematical models to better understand the physical and biological processes that shape the distribution and movements of animals, their foraging and migration behaviours, and their life-history strategies. His work aims to bridge the gap between field observations and ecological theory, and he is actively involved in the development of open-source statistical software.

Other Information

  • Affiliated Research Faculty at the Department of Geography, University of Florida
  • Associate Editor for Animal Conservation


Vordiplom in Chemistry, University of Marburg (2006-2008)
MRes in Environmental Biology, University of St Andrews (2010)
PhD in Marine Biology ‘The ecology of scattering layer biota around Indian Ocean seamounts and islands’, University of St Andrews (2014)

Recent BTO Publications

Border, J.A., Boersch-Supan, P., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Hewson, C., Howard, C., Stephens, P.A., Willis, S.G., Houston, A., Gargallo, G. & Baillie, S.R. 2024. Spatial variation in spring arrival patterns of Afro-Palearctic bird migration across Europe. Global Ecology and Biogeography View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/geb.13850)
O’Hanlon, N.J., Harris, S.J., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Robinson, R.A., Balmer, D.E. & Burton, N.H.K. 2024. Seabird population and demographic monitoring in the UK: a review and recommendations for future sampling. Research Report no. 754. ISBN: 978-1-912642-49-6
Brighton, C.H., Massimino, D., Boersch-Supan, P., Barnes, A.E., Martay, B., Bowler, D.E., Hoskins, H.M.J. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2024. The benefits of protected areas for bird population trends may depend on their condition. Biological Conservation 292 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2024.110553)
Boersch-Supan, P.H., Hanmer, H.J. & Robinson, R.A. 2024. Extended moult phenology models improve inferences about moult duration and timing. Ornithology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1093/ornithology/ukae003)
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)

Other Publications

Boersch-Supan PH, Johnson LR. 2018. Two case studies detailing Bayesian inference for dynamic energy budget models. Journal of Sea Research in press.

Boersch-Supan PH, Johnson LR, Phillips RA, Ryan SJ. 2018. Surface temperatures of albatross eggs and nests. Emu - Austral Ornithology 118(2):224-229.

Borrelle SB, Boersch-Supan PH, Gaskin CP, Towns DR. 2018. Influences on recovery of seabirds to islands eradicated of invasive predators, with a focus on Procellariiformes. Oryx 52:346-358.

Johnson LR, Boersch-Supan PH, Phillips RA, Ryan SJ. 2017. Changing measurements or changing movements? Sampling scale and movement model identifiability across multiple generations of biologging technology. Ecology and Evolution 7:9257–9266.

Sydeman WJ, Thompson SA, Anker-Nilssen T, Arimitsu M, Bennison A, Bertrand S, Boersch-Supan P, Boyd C, Bransome NC, Crawford RJ, Daunt F, Furness RW, Gianuca D, Gladics A, Koehn L, Lang JW, Logerwell E, Morris TL, Phillips EM, Provencher J, Punt AE, Saraux C, Shannon L, Sherley RB, Simeone A, Wanless RM, Wanless S, Zador S. 2017. Best Practices for Assessing Forage Fish Fisheries - Seabird Resource Competition. Fisheries Research 194:209–221.

Boersch-Supan PH, Ryan SJ, Johnson LR. 2016. deBInfer: Bayesian inference for dynamical models of biological systems in R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8:511–518

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