I lead a team of research staff working on conservation problems in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our work focuses on diagnosing causes of bird population declines and testing conservation solutions. We also assess the effectiveness of conservation action.
Lowland farmland is an area of particular expertise where we design and test practical conservation solutions for birds and other taxonomic groups. At RSPB’s Hope Farm, we are developing sustainable arable farming to promote wildlife while maintaining yields and minimising wider externalities.
Our work in Wales and Northern Ireland focuses mainly on upland, farmland and marine ecosystems. Recent projects include the value of marginal Welsh upland for wildlife and carbon storage, restoration management for molinia domination in the Welsh uplands and surveys of breeding waders and farmland birds in Northern Ireland.
I am also interested in factors affecting urban wildlife, with recent work on house sparrows, swifts and RSPB's Hope Community project in Aylesbury. I have been Principal Investigator on several consortium-based Defra-funded projects, most recently involving experimental cattle grazing to boost invertebrate abundance on improved grassland.
Currently active projects include the impacts of neonicotinoid insecticides on birds, the impact of hunting on turtle doves and the merits of land sparing vs. land sharing for UK birds.
- 2012 - 2013: Member of Defra's Green Food Project (Synthesis Group)
- 2011 - 2014: Member of Technical Group for Defra's Campaign for the Farmed Environment
- 2008 - 2011: Member of British Ornithologists' Union Council
Partners and Collaboration
- Dr Beatriz Arroyo, Catalonian Institute for Energy Research (IREC), Spain
- Dr Kate Arnold, University of York
- Prof Andrew Balmford, University of Cambridge
- Dr Mariecia Fraser, The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), University of Aberystwyth