This page summarises some of our key papers. After expanding a section, you can click on a paper to access its online publication page.

Case studies of individual ecology

These papers show how individual-based ecology has been used to understand wide-ranging conservation and wildlife management issues.

GOSS-CUSTARD, J. D., BOWGEN, K. M. & STILLMAN, R. A. 2019. Increasing the harvest for mussels Mytilus edulis without harming oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 612, 101-110.

CLARKE, L. J. 2018. Ecosystem impacts of intertidal invertebrate harvesting: from benthic habitats to bird predators. PhD thesis.

HERBERT, R. J. H., DAVIES, C. J., BOWGEN, K. M., HATTON, J. & STILLMAN, R. A. 2018. The importance of nonnative Pacific oyster reefs as supplementary feeding areas for coastal birds on estuary mudflats. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems,28,1294-1307.

BOWGEN, K. M. 2016. Predicting the effect of environmental change on wading birds: insights from individual-based models. PhD thesis.PhD, Bournemouth University in collaboration with HR Wallingford.

COLLOP, C. 2016. Impact of human disturbance on coastal birds: Population consequences derived from behavioural responses. PhD thesis.

GARCIA, C., STILLMAN, R. A., FORSTER, R. M., SILVA, T. & BREMNER, J. 2016. Nuclear power and coastal birds: Predicting the ecological consequences of warm-water outflows. Ecological Modelling,342,60-81.

NOLET, B. A., GYIMESI, A., VAN KRIMPEN, R. R. D., DE BOER, W. F. & STILLMAN, R. A. 2016. Predicting Effects of Water Regime Changes on Waterbirds: Insights from Staging Swans. Plos One,11.

BOWGEN, K. M., STILLMAN, R. A. & HERBERT, R. J. H. 2015. Predicting the effect of invertebrate regime shifts on wading birds: Insights from Poole Harbour, UK. Biological Conservation,186,60-68.

STILLMAN, R. A., WOOD, K. A., GILKERSON, W., ELKINTON, E., BLACK, J. M., WARD, D. H. & PETRIE, M. 2015. Predicting effects of environmental change on a migratory herbivore. Ecosphere,6.

Wood, K.A., Stillman, R.A., Daunt, F. & O’Hare, M.T. (2014). Chalk streams and grazing mute swans. British Wildlife, 25 (3), 171-176.

DEVILLE, A.-S. 2013. Besoins énergétiques et distribution spatiale du Flamant rose (Phoenicopterus roseus) dans les salins de Camargue, conséquences de la reconversion du site pour la conservation de l’espèce (Energetic needs and spatial distribution of the Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), salt pans reconversion consequences for the conservation of the species). PhD thesis.

FEBI 2013. Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link Bird Services (FEBI). Fauna and Flora – Birds – Impact Assessment. Birds of the Fehmarnbelt Area. E3TR0015. Hørsholm, Denmark: DHI.

FEBI 2013. Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link EIA. Bird Investigations in Fehmarnbelt – Baseline. Volume II. Waterbirds in Fehmarnbelt. Report No. E3TR0011. Hørsholm, Denmark: DHI.

STILLMAN, R. A. & WOOD, K. A. 2013. Predicting oystercatcher food requirements on the Dee Estuary. A report to Natural Resources Wales. Poole, Dorset: Bournemouth University.

STILLMAN, R. A. & WOOD, K. A. 2013. Predicting food requirements of overwintering shorebird populations on the Solway Firth. A report to Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland. Poole, Dorset: Bournemouth University.

Toral, G.M., Stillman, R.A., Santoro, S. & Figuerola, J. (2012). The importance of rice fields for glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus): Management recommendations derived from an individual-based model. Biological Conservation, 148, 19-27.

Wood, K.A., Stillman, R.A., Daunt, F. & O’Hare, M.T. (2012). An individual-based model of swan-macrophyte conflicts on a chalk river. In: P.J. Boon & P.J. Raven (eds), River Conservation and Management. Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp. 339-343.

Forbes, V.E., Calow, P., Grimm, V., Hayashi, T.I., Jager, T., Katholm, A., Palmqvist, A., Pastorok, R., Salvito, D., Sibly, R., Spromberg, J., Stark, J. & Stillman, R.A. (2011). Adding value to ecological risk assessment with population modeling. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, 17, 287-299.

Wood, K.A. (2011). Mute swans in chalk river catchments: a conservation conflict? Freshwater Biological Association News, 54, 6-7.

Forbes, V.E., Peter Calow, P., Grimm, V., Hayashi, T., Jager, T., Palmqvist, A., Pastorok, R., Salvito, D., Sibly, R., Spromberg, J., Stark, J. & Stillman, R.A. (2010). Integrating population modeling into ecological risk assessment. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 6, 191-193.

Stillman, R.A., Moore, J.J., Woolmer, A.P., Murphy, M.D, Walker, P., Vanstaen, K.R., Palmer, D. & Sanderson, W.G. (2010). Assessing waterbird conservation objectives: an example for the Burry Inlet, UK. Biological Conservation, 143, 2617-2630.

WEST, A. & STILLMAN, R. 2010. A single year study to determine the capacity of Morecambe Bay European marine site to support oystercatcher, using shellfish resource modelling techniques. Bournemouth: Bournemouth University.

DURIEZ, O., BAUER, S., DESTIN, A., MADSEN, J., NOLET, B. A., STILLMAN, R. A. & KLAASSEN, M. 2009. What decision rules might pink-footed geese use to depart on migration? An individual-based model. Behavioral Ecology,20,560-569.

ATKINSON, P. W. & STILLMAN, R. A. 2008. Carrying Capacity Modelling for the Pied Oystercatcher at Lauderdale and Surrounding Sites. Lauderdale Quay Proposal. Norfolk: British Trust for Ornithology.

Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Stillman, R.A., Triplet, P., Desprez, M., Fagot, C., Loquet, N., Sueur, F. & Goss-Custard, J.D. (2008). Using an individual-based model to inform estuary management in the Baie de Somme, France. Oryx, 42, 265-277.

STILLMAN, R. 2008. Predicted effect of shellfishing on the oystercatcher and knot populations of the Solway Firth. Poole, Dorset: Bournemouth University.

STILLMAN, R. A. 2008. Predicting the effect of shellfish stocks on the oystercatcher and knot populations of the Burry Inlet and Three Rivers. Countryside Council for Wales Marine Monitoring Report No. 65. Bournemouth University for the Countryside Council for Wales.

Caldow, R.W.G, Stillman, R.A., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, West, A.D., McGrorty, S., Goss-Custard, J.D., Wood, P.J. & Humphreys, J. (2007). Benefits to shorebirds from invasion of a non-native shellfish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B – Biological Sciences, 274, 1449-1455.

Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Stillman, R.A., McGrorty, S., West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D. & Price, D. (2007). Predicting the effect of local and global environmental change on shorebirds: a case study on the Exe estuary, UK. Wader Study Group Bulletin, 112, 24-36.

DURELL, S. E. A. L. V. D. 2007. Differential survival in adult Eurasian oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus. Journal of Avian Biology,38,530-535.

O’Hare, M.T., Stillman, R.A., Mcdonnell, J. & Wood, L.R. (2007). Effects of mute swan grazing on a keystone macrophyte. Freshwater Biology, 52, 2463-2475.

Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Caldow, R.W.G. & Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit (2007). Predicting the effect of disturbance on coastal birds. Ibis, 149, 73-81.

WEST, A. D., YATES, M. G., MCGRORTY, S. & STILLMAN, R. A. 2007. Predicting site quality for shorebird communities: A case study on the Wash embayment, UK. Ecological Modelling,202,527-539.

WOOD, P. J. 2007. Human impacts on coastal bird populations in the Solent. PhD thesis., University of Southampton.

GOSS-CUSTARD, J. D., TRIPLET, P., SUEUR, F. & WEST, A. D. 2006. Critical thresholds of disturbance by people and raptors in foraging wading birds. Biological Conservation,127,88-97.

Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Stillman, R.A., Caldow, R.W.G., McGrorty, S., West, A.D. & Humphreys, J. (2006). Modelling the effect of environmental change on shorebirds: a case study on Poole Harbour, UK. Biological Conservation, 131, 459-473.

Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Stillman, R.A., Triplet, P., Aulert, C., Biot, D.O.dit, Bouchet, A., Duhamel, S., Mayot, S. & Goss-Custard, J.D. (2005). Modelling the efficacy of proposed mitigation areas for shorebirds: a case study on the Seine estuary, France. Biological Conservation, 123, 67-77.

KAISER, M. J., ELLIOTT, A., GALANIDI, M., REES, E. I. S., CALDOW, R., STILLMAN, R., SUTHERLAND, W. & SHOWLER, D. 2005. Predicting the displacement of common scoter Melanitta nigra from benthic feeding areas due to offshore windfarms. Bangor, Wales: University of Wales.

STILLMAN, R. A., WEST, A. D., LE V DIT DURELL, S. E. A., CALDOW, W. R. G., MCGRORTY, S., YATES, M. G., GARBUTT, R. A., YATES, T. J., RISPIN, W. E. & FROST, N. J. 2005. Estuary Special Protection Areas – Establishing baseline targets for shorebirds. Dorchester, Dorset: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D., McGrorty, S., Frost, N.J., Morrisey, D.J., Kenny, A.J. & Drewitt, A.L. (2005). Predicting site quality for shorebird communities: a case study on the Humber estuary, UK. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 305, 203-217.

Caldow, R.W.G., Beadman, H.A., McGrorty, S., Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, West, A.D., Kaiser, M.J., Mould, K. & Wilson, A. (2004). A behavior-based modeling approach to reducing shorebird-shellfish conflicts. Ecological Applications, 14, 1411-1427.

Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D., Caldow, R.W.G., McGrorty, S., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Yates, M.G., Atkinson, P.W., Clark, N.A., Bell, M.C., Dare, P.J. & Mander, M. (2003). An individual behaviour-based model can predict shorebird mortality using routinely collected shellfishery data. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40, 1090-1101.

West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D., McGrorty, S., Stillman, R.A., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Stewart, B., Walker, P., Palmer, D.W. & Coates, P. (2003). The Burry shellfishery and oystercatchers: using a behaviour-based model to advise on shellfishery management policy. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 248, 279-292.

WEST, A. D. & MCGRORTY, S. 2003. Marine monitoring project: Modelling osytercatchers and their food on the Dee Estuary, Traeth Lafan and Burry Inlet Spa to inform target setting and site management. Dorchester, Dorset: Centre of Ecology and Hydrology.

WEST, A. D., STILLMAN, R. A. & PORTIG, A. 2002. Modelling of the interaction between oystercatchers and shellfish in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. Dorset: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D., West, A.D., McGrorty, S., Caldow, R.W.G., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Norris, K.J., Johnstone, I.G., Ens, B.J., van der Meer, J. & Triplet, P. (2001). Predicting oystercatcher mortality and population size under different regimes of shellfishery management. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38, 857-868.

Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D., West, A.D., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Caldow, R.W.G., McGrorty, S. & Clarke, R.T. (2000). Predicting mortality in novel environments: tests and sensitivity of a behaviour-based model. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 564-588.

General insights from individual ecology

These papers show how individual-based ecology can provide general insights into ecological systems.

BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY & WILDFOWL AND WETLANDS TRUST 2018. Wildfowl functionally linked land. ECM_48346. Individual based modelling approach. Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust: Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.

ROSS, K. E. 2013. Investigating the physical and ecological drivers of change in a coastal ecosystem: From individual-to population-scale impacts. PhD thesis.

Wood, K.A., Stillman, R.A., Wheeler, D., Groves, S., Hambly, C., Speakman, J.R., Daunt, F. & O’Hare, M.T. (2013). Go with the flow: water velocity regulates herbivore foraging decisions in river catchments. Oikos, 122, 1720-1729.

BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY 2010. Severn tidal power – Sea topic paper. Waterbirds. Annex 3 – Waterbird Individual based modelling. Bournemouth University: Poole, Dorset.

Duriez, O., Bauer, S., Destin, A., Madsen, J., Nolet, B.A., Stillman, R.A. & Klaassen, M. (2009). What decision rules might pink-footed geese use to depart on migration? An individual-based model. Behavioural Ecology, 20, 560-569.

GOSS-CUSTARD, J. D., BURTON, N. H. K., CLARK, N. A., FERNS, P. N., MCGRORTY, S., READING, C. J., REHFISCH, M. M., STILLMAN, R. A., TOWNEND, I., WEST, A. D. & WORRALL, D. H. 2006. Test of a Behavior-Based Individual-Based Model: Response of Shorebird Mortality to Habitat Loss. Ecological Applications,16,2215-2222.

Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, McGrorty, S., West, A.D., Clarke, R.T., Goss-Custard, J.D. & Stillman, R.A. (2005). A strategy for baseline monitoring of estuary Special Protection Areas. Biological Conservation, 121, 289-301.

STILLMAN, R. A., CALDOW, R. W. G., LE V. DIT DURELL, S. E. A., WEST, A. D., MCGRORTY, S., GOSS-CUSTARD, J. D., PÉREZ-HURTADO, A., CASTRO, M., ESTRELLA, S., MASERO, J. A., RODRÍGUEZ-PASCUAL, F. H., TRIPLET, P., LOQUET, N., DESPREZ, M., FRITZ, H., CLAUSEN, P., EBBINGE, B., NORRIS, K. & MATTISON, E. 2005. Coastal bird diversity. Maintaining migratory coastal bird diversity: management through individual-based predictive population modelling. Winfrith Newburgh, Dorset: Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

West, A.D., Goss-Custard, J.D., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit & Stillman, R.A. (2005). Maintaining estuary quality for shorebirds: towards simple guidelines. Biological Conservation, 123, 211-224.

Goss-Custard, J.D., Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Caldow, R.W.G., Triplet, P., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit & McGrorty, S. (2004). When enough is not enough: shorebirds and shellfishing. Proceedings of the Royal Society. Biological Sciences, 271, 233-237.

Goss-Custard, J.D., Stillman, R.A., Caldow, R.W.G., West, A.D. & Guillemain, M. (2003). Carrying capacity in overwintering birds: when are spatial models needed? Journal of Applied Ecology, 40, 176-187.

Goss-Custard, J.D., Stillman, R.A., West, A.D., Caldow, R.W.G. & McGrorty, S. (2002). Carrying capacity in overwintering migratory birds. Biological Conservation, 105, 27-41.

West, A. D., Goss-Custard, J. D., Stillman, R. A., Caldow, R. W. G., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit & McGrorty, S. (2002). Predicting the impacts of disturbance on wintering wading birds using a behaviour-based individuals model. Biological Conservation, 106, 319-328.

Goss-Custard, J.D., West, A.D., Stillman, R.A., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Caldow, R.W.G., McGrorty, S. & Nagarajan, R. (2001). Density-dependent starvation without significant food depletion. Journal of Applied Ecology, 70, 955-965.

Understanding individuals

These papers measure the underlying behaviour, and individual variation in this behaviour, from which population-level predictions are obtained.

Wood, K.A. & Stillman, R.A. (2014). Do birds of a feather flock together? Comparing habitat preferences of piscivorous waterbirds in a lowland river catchment. Hydrobiologia

Hugh, N.M.M.C., Hughes, S., Leather, S., Stillman, R.A. & Holland, J.M. (2013). Yellowhammer breeding distribution in relation to field boundary habitat and summer foraging resources. Aspects of Applied Biology, 118, 297-302.

Murray, G.P.D., Stillman, R.A., Gozlan, R.E. & Britton, J.R. (2013). Experimental predictions of the functional response of a freshwater fish. Ethology, 119, 751-761.

Wood, K.A., Stillman, R.A., Coombs, T., McDonald, C., Daunt, F. & O’Hare, M.T. (2013). The role of season and social grouping on habitat use by mute swans (Cygnus olor) in a lowland river catchment. Bird Study, 60, 229-237.

Wood, K.A., Stillman, R.A., Clarke, R.T., Daunt, F. & O’Hare, M.T. (2012). The impact of waterfowl herbivory on plant standing crop: a meta-analysis. Hydrobiologia, 686, 157-167.

Baker, D.J., Stillman, R.A., Smith, B.M., Bullock, J.M. & Norris, K.J. (2010). Vigilance and the functional response of granivorous foragers. Functional Ecology, 24, 1281-1290.

Gyimesi, A., Stillman, R.A. & Nolet, B.A. (2010). Cryptic interference competition in swans foraging on cryptic prey. Animal Behaviour, 80, 791-797.

Rappoldt, C., Stillman, R.A. & Ens, B.J. (2010). A geometrical model for the effect of interference on food intake. Ecological Modelling, 221, 147-151.

Baker, D.J., Stillman, R.A. & Bullock, J.M. (2009). The effect of habitat complexity on the functional response of a seed-eating farmland bird. Ibis, 151, 547-558.

Smart, S.L., Stillman, R.A. & Norris, K.J. (2008). Measuring the functional responses of farmland birds: an example for a declining seed-feeding bunting. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77, 687-695.

Poole, A.E., Stillman, R.A., Watson, H.K. & Norris, K.J. (2007). Searching efficiency and the functional response of a pause-travel forager. Functional Ecology, 21, 784-792.

Gillings, S., Atkinson, P.W., Bardsley, S.L., Clark, N.A., Love, S.E., Robinson, R.A., Stillman, R.A. & Weber, R. G. (2007). Shorebird predation of Horseshoe Crab eggs in Delaware Bay: species contrasts and availability constraints. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76, 503-514.

Goss-Custard, J.D., West, A.D., Yates, M.G., Caldow, R.W.G., Stillman, R.A., Bardsley, L., Castilla, J., Castro, M., Dierschke, V., Durell, S.E.A. le V. dit, Eichhorn, G., Ens, B.J., Exo, K.-M., Fernando, P.U.U., Ferns, P.N., Hockey, P.A.R., Gill, J.A., Johnstone, I., Kalejta-Summers, B., Masero, J.A., Moreira, F., Nagarajan, R. V., Owens, I.P.F., Pacheco, C., Perez-Hurtado, A., Rogers, D., Scheiffarth, G., Sitters, H., Sutherland, W.J., Triplet, P., Worrall, D.H., Zharikov, Y., Zwarts, L. & Pettifor, R.A. (2006). Intake rates and the functional response in shorebirds (Charadriiformes) eating macro-invertebrates. Biological Reviews, 81, 501-529.

Poole, A.E., Stillman, R.A. & Norris, K.J. (2006). A video-based method for measuring small-scale animal movement. Animal Behaviour, 72, 1205-1212.

Stillman, R.A. & Simmons, V.L. (2006). Predicting the functional response of a farmland bird. Functional Ecology, 20, 723-730.

Stillman, R.A. & Goss-Custard, J.D. (2002). Seasonal changes in the response of oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus to human disturbance. Journal of Avian Biology, 33, 358-365.

Stillman, R.A., Bautista, L.M., Alonso, J.C. & Alonso, J. (2002). Modelling state-dependent interference in common cranes. Journal of Animal Ecology, 71, 874-882.

Stillman, R.A., Poole, A.E., Goss-Custard, J.D., Caldow, R.W.G, Yates, M.G. & Triplet, P. (2002). Predicting the strength of interference more quickly using behaviour-based models. Journal of Animal Ecology, 71, 532-541.

Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D. & Alexander, M.J. (2000). Predator search pattern and the strength of interference through prey depression. Behavioral Ecology, 11, 597-605.

Yates, M.G., Stillman, R.A. & Goss-Custard, J.D. (2000). Contrasting interference functions and foraging dispersion in two species of shorebird (Charadrii). Journal of Animal Ecology, 69, 314-322.

Caldow, R.W.G., Goss-Custard, J.D., Stillman, R.A., Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit, Swinfen, R. & Bregnballe, T. (1999). Individual variation in the competitive ability of interference-prone foragers: the relative importance of foraging efficiency and susceptibility to interference. Journal of Animal Ecology, 68, 869-878.

Triplet, P., Stillman, R.A. & Goss-Custard, J.D. (1999). Prey abundance and the strength of interference in a foraging shorebird. Journal of Animal Ecology, 68, 254-265. Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D. & Caldow, R.W.G. (1997). Modelling interference from basic foraging behaviour. Journal of Animal Ecology, 66, 692-703.

Stillman, R.A., Goss-Custard, J.D., Clarke, R.T. & Durell, S.E.A.leV.dit (1996). Shape of the interference function in a foraging vertebrate. Journal of Animal Ecology, 65, 813-824.