Dr Alex Sansom

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science


My role at the RSPB is to provide scientific support to issues surrounding site protection.

This often involves providing advice, or scientific input to colleagues working on case-work and planning. Therefore, many of my research interests are linked to understanding the potential impacts of developments such as wind farms, or other human infrastructure on wildlife.

While working at the RSPB I have been involved in research investigating the impacts of wind farms on breeding waders and on raptors. This has included using long-term mark-recapture data to calculate demographic rates and estimate impacts of additional mortality on population growth.

Many of the projects I have worked on have also involved modelling species’ distributions and habitat preferences, including those of white-tailed eagles, seabirds at sea and various upland waders.

In addition to these analytical skills, I have a strong background in field surveys, including breeding and wintering waders, seabirds at sea and collecting behavioural data, but in my present role, spend more of my time in the office.


Alex Sansom

Dr Alex Sansom

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Scotland Headquarters, 2 Lochside View, Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh, EH12 9DH


Research Gate


Climate change Marine Protected areas Upland

Selected Publications

Negative impact of wind energy development on a breeding shorebird assessed with a BACI study design

Previous studies have shown negative associations between wind energy development and breeding birds, including species of conservation concern. However, the magnitude and causes of...

01 July 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr David Douglas
Sansom, A., Pearce-Higgins, J.W. & Douglas, D.
Published in
Ibis 158: 541-555
View publication Details

Population and future range modelling of reintroduced Scottish white-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla)

Re-introductions are increasingly being used in conservation biology as a valuable tool in species recovery programmes. This technique was used to establish a population of white- tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) in Scotland, where the species went extinct in 1917. Three release phases have taken place, of which the first two (1975-1985 and 1993-1998) were on the west coast and the third (2007-2012) on the east coast of Scotland. All three phases have used birds sourced from Norway. In 2014, there were 98 territorial pairs of white-tailed eagles in Scotland, of which 90 were confirmed to have bred. For this report, a conservative approach was used, and only the 90 sites with confirmed nests were considered territories.

RSPB Authors
Dr Alex Sansom
Published in
Scottish Natural Heritage Commissioned Report No. 898
View publication Details
White-tailed eagle Scotland