Ian Cleasby

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science


My research interests fall into two main categories 1) animal ecology and conservation and 2) applied statistics.  Within animal ecology my research has focussed upon the spatial and trophic ecology of animals, with an interest in the causes and consequences of variation in foraging and dispersal behaviour at both the individual- and population-level.

Much of this work has been conducted using tracking technology to study the movement ecology of seabirds. Such work has focussed upon using tracking datasets in an applied context to engage with marine policy and aid marine conservation. Future research goals include integrating movement ecology with other sources of environmental data (e.g. oceanography) and to better link movement data with broader demographic consequences.

My other main research interest is the use of statistical models in ecological studies. In the past such work has concerned how hierarchical models could be extended to model variation directly to answer questions about individual variation.

In addition, my experience of working on large tracking studies has also led to investigation of how tools from data science and machine learning can be utilised by ecologists.  I am also interested in how techniques such as meta-analysis can be used to give a broader overview of different fields of ecological research.

External Activities

  • 2019 – present: Treasurer of Seabird Group charity

  • 2016 – present: Member of Royal Statistical Society

Partners and Collaboration

  • Prof Stuart Bearhop, University of Exeter

  • Dr Tom Bodey, University of Aberdeen

  • Prof Keith Hamer, University of Leeds

  • Dr Barbara Morrissey, University of Highlands and Islands

  • Prof Shinichi Nakagawa, University of New South Wales

  • Dr Freydis Vigfusdottir, University of Iceland

  • Dr Ewan Wakefield, University of Glasgow


Ian Cleasby

Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

RSPB Scotland - HQ, 2 Lochside View, Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh, EH12 9DH


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