Simon Gillings

Principal Data Scientist

Simon works with colleagues across BTO to provide strategic leadership, analytical input and design input into the development of data products for internal and external audiences.

Interests & Responsibilities

Simon's main interest is in developing methods and applications that turn BTO data into accessible, robust and visually appealing products for different audiences and stakeholders.  He is working with colleagues in the Surveys and IS teams to produce new visualisations that better communicate what BTO volunteers' data tell us about the natural world.  He is keen to integrate different data to produce improved insights, for example to contribute to Environmental Impact Assessments.  In parallel, Simon works with colleagues to develop bioacoustic monitoring techniques and associated data management infrastructure for use in engagement, monitoring and research.

Other Information

Simon is a keen birder and avid user of BirdTrack. As such he is always keen to see the use of birdwatchers' records for research and conservation through appropriate analytical design and novel data visualisation. A recent example is the production of data-driven calendar wheels and novel seasonal abundance maps for the Collins-BTO Guide to British Birds.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Ecology, University of East Anglia, 1992-1995 PhD Diurnal and nocturnal ecology of Golden Plovers Pluvialis apricaria and Lapwings Vanellus vanellus wintering on arable farmland, University of East Anglia, 1999-2003

Recent BTO Publications

Harris, S.J., Massimino, D., Balmer, D.E., Kelly, L., Noble, D.G., Pearce-Higgins, J.W., Woodcock, P., Wotton, S. & Gillings, S. 2022. The Breeding Bird Survey 2021. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-37-3 36pp
Gillings, S. & Harris, S.J. 2022. Estimating the carbon footprint of citizen science biodiversity monitoring. People & Nature View at journal website (DOI: 10.1002/pan3.10333)
Border, J.A., Gillings, S., Reynolds, T., Neeve, G. & Newson, S.E. 2022. Can citizen science provide a solution for bat-friendly planning?. Landscape & Urban Planning 223 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104402)
Gillings, S., Balmer, D.E., Harris, S.J., Massimino, D. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2022. Impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on capacity to monitor bird populations: a case study using the UK Breeding Bird Survey. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2021.2019187)
Newson, S.E., Allez, S.L., Coule, E.K., Gillings, S., Harper, J., Henney, J.M., Higgins, L., Simmons, M.C., Sweet, E., Whitelegg, D. & Atkinson, P.W 2022. Bailiwick Bat Survey: 2021 Report. Research Report no. 743. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford, Norfolk ISBN: 978-1-912642-34-2 72pp


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