Chris Thaxter

Senior Research Ecologist

Chris's principal role is undertaking research into changes in the abundance and foraging behaviour of seabirds and waterbirds in relation to both man-made impacts and environmental processes. He takes a central role in conducting and developing marine research projects at BTO.

Interests & Responsibilities

Chris's post entails a broad spectrum of research projects. Current key research includes the use of bird-borne logging devices to understand foraging behaviour, distribution and interaction of seabirds with offshore windfarms. He recently completed a review into the foraging ranges of UK breeding seabirds with a view to such data being used as a preliminary tool in identifying candidate marine protected areas (MPAs). Recent work has also explored the use of sea-watching data for monitoring the non-breeding movements of species past our coasts. Chris is also involved in environmental impace assessments of renewable energy developments on waterbird and seabird populations. He is involved in numerous other projects investigating the impacting of offshore developments on birds, and have previously completed a review of the use high definition imagery technology for surveying seabirds and marine mammals.

Other Information

Chris has a broad interest in the natural sciences with a research background in seabird ecology. He has a keen interest in seabird foraging behaviour, population ecology, and life-history environment interactions. He is an ordinary Member of the Seabird Group, and am a guest lecturer as part of BSc and MSc University modules.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Geography, University of Reading, 1999-2002. MSc Wildlife Conservation and Management, University of Newcastle, 2002-2003. PhD Foraging and Breeding Ecology of Guillemots and Razorbills, University of Leeds, 2005-2008.

Recent BTO Publications

Fijn, R.C. Thaxter, C.B., Geert Aarts, G., Adema, J., Middelveld, R.P. & van Bemmelen, R.S.A. 2022. Relative roles of static and dynamic abiotic conditions as drivers of foraging behaviour in breeding Sandwich Terns. Marine Ecology Press 692 : 137-150 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps14076)
Booth Jones, K., Thaxter, C., Clewley, G., Wolsey, S., Calbrade, N., Atkinson, P., Calladine, J. & Burton, N. 2022. Belfast’s urban gulls: an assessment of breeding populations, breeding season movements and winter population. Research Report no. 734. British Trust for Ornithology, Thetford ISBN: 978-1-912642-26-7 52pp
Woodward, I.D., Austin, G.E., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Thaxter, C.B. & Burton, N.H.K 2022. Assessing drivers of winter abundance change in  Eurasian Curlews Numenius arquata in England and Wales. Bird Study View at journal website (DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2022.2049205)
Gauld, J.G., Silva, J.P., Atkinson, P.W., Record, P., Acácio, M., Arkumarev, V., Blas, J., Bouten, W., Burton, N., Catry, I., Champagnon, J., Clewley, G.D., Dagys, M., Duriez, O., Exo, M., Fiedler, W., Flack, A., Friedemann, G., Fritz, J., Garcia-Ripolles, C., Garthe, S., Giunchi, D., Grozdanov, A., Harel, R., Humphreys, E.M., Janssen, R., Kölzsch, A., Kulikova, O., Lameris, T.K., López-López, P., Masden, E.A., Monti, F., Nathan, R., Nikolov, S., Oppel, S., Peshev, H., Phipps, L., Pokrovsky, I., Ross-Smith, V.H., Saravia, V., Scragg, E.S., Sforzi, A., Stoynov, E., Thaxter, C., Van Steelant, W., van Toor, M., Vorneweg, B., Waldenström, J., Wikelski, M., Žydelis, R. & Franco, A.M.A. 2022. Hotspots in the grid: avian sensitivity and vulnerability to collision risk from energy infrastructure interactions in Europe and north Africa. Journal of Applied Ecology View at journal website (DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.14160) 17pp
Bowgen, K.M., Kettel, E.F.., Butchart, S.H.M., Carr, J.A., Foden, W.B., Magin, G., Morecroft, M.D., Smith, R.K., Stein, B.A., Sutherland, W.G., Thaxter, C.B. & Pearce-Higgins, J.W. 2022. Conservation interventions can benefit species impacted by climate change. Biological Conservation 269 View at journal website (DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2022.109524)
Johnston, D.T., Thaxter, C.B., Boersch-Supan, P.H., Humphreys, L., Bouten, W., Clewley, G.D., Scragg, E.S., Masden, E.A., Barber, L.J., Conway, G., Clark, N.A., Burton, N.H.K & Cook, A.S.C.P. 2022. Investigating avoidance and attraction responses in Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus to offshore wind farms. Marine Ecology Progress Series 686 View at journal website (DOI: 10.3354/meps13964)

Other Publications

Thaxter, C.B., Redfern, C.P.F. & Bevan, R.M. 2006. Survival rates of adult Reed Warblers Acrocephalus scirpaceus at a northern and southern site in EnglandRinging & Migration 23 : 65-79 View Abstract


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