Dr Michael MacDonald

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

Background

I have worked on a variety of projects since joining the RSPB in 2005. Initially my work was focused on testing how well agri-environment schemes perform, for wider biodiversity (in England) and for target species (in Wales). I have a continuing interest in breeding lapwing on arable land; specifically the ability of fallow plots to improve chick productivity.

More recently, I have been involved in projects measuring ecosystem services (the benefits that people derive from nature). This has included work in the UK Overseas Territories of Anguilla and the Cayman Islands and in continental Europe, as well as case studies within the UK. This work frequently involves assessing the value of habitat restoration or protection relative to alternative management.

I sit on the steering committee for TESSA (Toolkit for Ecosystem Service Site-based Assessment), along with representatives of other organisations from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.

Prior to joining the RSPB I gained a PhD at the University of Tasmania, and worked in Tasmania on research projects aimed at improving bird conservation in agricultural and forest production landscapes.

Partners and Collaboration

  • Dr Andrew Hoodless, Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust

Contact

Michael Macdonald

Dr Michael MacDonald

Senior Conservation Scientist, Conservation Science

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

michael.macdonald@rspb.org.uk

Specialisms

Agriculture Ecosystem services New methods and technologies

Selected Publications

Rapid assessment of ecosystem services provided by two mineral extraction sites restored for nature conservation in an agricultural landscape in eastern England

Despite growing recognition that mineral sites restored for nature conservation can enhance local biodiversity, the wider societal benefits provided by this type of restoration relative to alternative options are not well understood. This study addresses this research gap by quantifying differences in ecosystem services ...

Date
20 April 2015
RSPB Authors
Dr Phillip Blaen, Dr Rob Field, Dr Michael MacDonald, Dr Richard Bradbury
Authors
Blaen, P.J., Jia, L., Peh, K.S.H., Field, R., Balmford, A., MacDonald, M. & Bradbury, R.
Published in
Plos One
View publication Details
Ecosystem services

Effects of agri-environment management for stone curlews on other biodiversity

Two-hectare unsown, tilled fallow plots put in place under agri-environment schemes for stone curlews Burhinus oedicnemus in England were surveyed for other bird species, brown hares Lepus europaetts,...

Date
14 February 2012
RSPB Authors
Dr Michael MacDonald, Dr Guy Anderson
Authors
MacDonald, M.A., Maniakowski, M., Cobbold, G., Grice, P.V. & Anderson, G.Q.A.
Published in
Biological Conservation
View publication Details
Stone-curlew UK Agriculture

Predation on wader nests in Europe

The population declines of waders in Europe are widely considered to have resulted from habitat loss and degradation due to agricultural changes. However, recent empirical evidence suggests that level...

Date
21 August 2008
RSPB Authors
Dr Michael MacDonald, Dr Mark Bolton
Authors
MacDonald, M.A. & Bolton, M.
Published in
Ibis
View publication Details
International Waders Agriculture Protected areas UK species

Applying ecosystem benefit valuation to inform quarry restoration planning

European societies and economies depend heavily on a steady supply of materials extracted from quarries. Due to this dependence, a significant amount of space in Europe is covered with minerals extraction sites. For each of ...

Date
01 August 2016
RSPB Authors
Dr Michael MacDonald
Authors
Wilker, J., Rusche, K., Benning, A., MacDonald, M.A. & Blaen, P.
Published in
Ecosystem Services 20: 44-55
View publication Details
Ecosystem services