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Francis Daunt

Francis Daunt


CEH - Centre for Ecology & Hydrology


Seabird behavioural and population ecology

I joined the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in 2001 after completing a PhD at the University of Glasgow.  I have over 15 years’ experience of research into seabird population ecology. I have worked on a wide range of temperate, tropical and polar systems, combining monitoring and survey with experiments and modelling.  My main research interest is in understanding the impacts of anthropogenic change on seabird populations, in particular climate, marine renewables and fisheries.  My approach is to gain a detailed understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of individual behaviour and physiology that determine demographic parameters.  I am also interested in understanding the extent to which seabird behaviour and demography can be employed as indicators of marine environmental change. The outcome of this research is being used in decision-making on marine renewable developments and to assess current and future marine designations (e.g. SPAs, Marine Protected Areas, fishery closures).  I coordinate CEH's long-term seabird population study on the Isle of May (IMLOTS).  I have published more than 65 ISI papers.

Selected Publications

Burthe, S.J., Daunt, F., Butler, A., Elston, D., Frederiksen, M., Johns, D., Newell, M., Thackeray, S.J. & Wanless, S. (2012) Phenological trends and trophic mismatch across multiple levels of a North Sea pelagic food web. Marine Ecology Progress Series 454:119-133

Burthe, S., Wanless, S., Newell, M.A., Butler, A. & Daunt, F. (2014) Assessing the vulnerability of the marine bird community in the western North Sea to climate change and other anthropogenic impacts. Marine Ecology Progress Series 507: 277–295

Bogdanova, M.I., Wanless, S., Harris, M.P., Lindström, J., Butler, A., Newell, M.A., Sato, K., Watanuki, Y, Parsons. M. & Daunt, F. (2014) Among-year and within-population variation in foraging distribution of European shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis over two decades: implications for marine spatial planning. Biological Conservation 140:292-299

Daunt, F. & Mitchell, I.M. (2013) Impacts of climate change on seabirds, MCCIP Science Review MCCIP Science Review 2013: 125-133 (

Daunt, F., Reed, T.R., Newell, M., Burthe, S., Phillips, R.A., Lewis, S. & Wanless, S. (2014) Longitudinal bio-logging reveals interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic carry-over effects in a long-lived vertebrate. Ecology 95: 2077-2083

Useful links

Profile on CEH website