Dr Mark Bolton

Principal Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

Since 2008 I have overseen the RSPB’s UK marine research programme, which comprises a wide variety of projects, including:

  • An extensive programme of seabird tracking to identify foraging hot-spots to inform marine spatial planning and identification of marine protected areas
  • Work to understand the demography and causes of declines of particular seabird species
  • Understanding the likely effects of climate change on seabird breeding success and survival.

I am also involved in a number of projects in the UK Overseas Territories, including tracking and searching for new species of seabirds on islands of the South Atlantic.

I'm always keen to investigate new technologies and work closely with the RSPB Conservation Science technological development team pioneering the use of nest cameras, bird-borne tracking devices, infra-red filming and thermal imaging etc.

External Activities

  • 2010 to present: Director, Fair Isle Bird Observatory
  • 2009 to 2016: Associate Editor, Ibis International Journal of Avian Science
  • 2008 to present: Member of ICES Working Group on Seabird Ecology

Partners and Collaboration

  • Prof Tim Guilford, Oxford University
  • Dr Beth Scott, Aberdeen University
  • Dr Vicki Friesen, Queen's University Ontario, Canada
  • Dr Francis Daunt, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Dr Renata Medeiros, Cardiff University

Contact

Mark Bolton

Dr Mark Bolton

Principal Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

The Lodge, Potton Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL

mark.bolton@rspb.org.uk

Specialisms

Climate change Identifying problems Marine New methods and technologies Protected areas

Selected Publications

Quantifying full phenological event distributions reveals simultaneous advances, temporal stability and delays in spring and autumn migration timing in long-distance migratory birds

Phenological changes in key seasonally expressed life-history traits occurring across periods of climatic and environmental change can cause temporal mismatches between interacting species, and thereby impact population and community dynamics. However, studies...

Date
27 September 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Mark Bolton
Authors
Miles, W.S., Bolton, M., Davis, P., Dennis, R., Broad, R., Robertson, I.A., Riddiford, N.J., Harvey, P.V., Riddington, R., Shaw, D.N., Parnaby, D. & Reid, J.M.
Published in
Global Change Biology
View publication Details
Climate change

Defining marine important bird areas: Testing the foraging radius approach

Recent international initiatives have promoted a number of different approaches to identify marine Important Bird and biodiversity Areas (IBAs), which are important areas for foraging, migrating or over-wintering seabirds. The ‘Foraging Radius Approach’ is one of these and uses known foraging range and habitat preferences to predict the size and location of foraging ...

Date
01 April 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Mark Bolton, Dr Ellie Owen
Authors
Soanes, L.M., Bright, J.A., Angel, L.P., Arnould, J.P.Y., Bolton, M., Berlincourt, B., Lascelles, E., Owen, E., Simon-Bouhet, B. & Green, J.A.
Published in
Biological Conservation 196: 69-79
View publication Details
UK Marine

Influence of diet and foraging strategy on reproductive success in two morphologically similar sympatric seabirds

Capsule: Morphologically similar sympatrically breeding species differ in diet and foraging strategies, which could explain interspecific variation in breeding success and reproductive output.Aims: To compare provisioning rate and diet of nestling Arctic (Sterna paradisaea) and Common...

Date
01 July 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Mark Bolton
Authors
Robertson, G.S., Bolton, M. & Monaghan, P.
Published in
Bird Study 63: 319-329
View publication Details
UK Marine UK species

Assessing the effectiveness of intensive conservation actions: does guarding and feeding increase productivity and survival of Egyptian Vultures in the Balkans?

Assessing the effectiveness of conservation measures to reverse population declines is essential to evaluate management strategies. Management solutions such as direct protection or supplementary feeding typically aim at reducing mortality or increasing productivity, but demonstrating ...

Date
01 June 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Steffen Oppel
Authors
Oppel, S., Dobrev, V., Arkumarev, V., Saravia, V., Bounas, A., Kret, E., Skartsi, T., Velevski, M., Stoychev, S. & Nikolov, S.C.
Published in
Biological Conservation 198: 157-164
View publication Details
International International species

Effects of sea temperature and stratification changes on seabird breeding success

As apex predators in marine ecosystems, seabirds may primarily experience climate change impacts indirectly, via changes to their food webs. Observed seabird population declines have been linked...

Date
06 October 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Matthew Carroll, Dr Ellie Owen, Dr Steven Ewing, Dr Mark Bolton
Authors
Carroll, M., Butler, A., Owen, E., Ewing, S.R., Cole, T., Green, J.A., Soanes, L.M., Arnould, J.P.Y., Newton, S.F., Baer, J., Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Newell, M.A., Robertson, G.S., Mavor, R.A. & Bolton, M.
Published in
Climate Research
View publication Details
Climate change Marine