Dr Francis Daunt

Dr Francis Daunt

Seabird Ecologist

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Bush Estate
EH26 0QB 
Tel: +44 (0)131 445 4343
Fax: +44 (0)131 445 3943
E-mail: Dr Francis Daunt


Current work / research interests

My main interests lie in understanding the drivers of change in seabird populations. North Sea seabirds have shown recent population declines, and my research aims to understand the effects of climate change, disease, fisheries and marine energy developments. 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 to assess current and future marine designations (e.g. SPAs, Marine Protected Areas, fishery closures) in safeguarding seabirds.

I coordinate CEH's long-term seabird population study on the Isle of May (IMLOTS).


Brief Curriculum Vitae

  • 2001 - present: Seabird ecologist, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
  • 1997 - 2000: PhD 'Age specific reproductive performance in the shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis', University of Glasgow
  • 1994 - 1996: Marine Scientist, British Antarctic Survey
  • 1992 - 1993: MSc Resource Management, University of Edinburgh
  • 1988-1991: BSc (Hons) Biology, University of Nottingham

Selected publications

See also the NERC Open Research Archive and a fuller list of publications here.

Burthe, S., Newell, M.A., Goodman, G., Butler, A., Bregnballe, T., Harris, E.., Wanless, S., Cunningham, E.J.A. and Daunt, F. (in press) Endoscopy as a novel method for assessing endoparasite burdens. Methods in Ecology & Evolution

Lahoz-Monfort, J.J., Morgan, B. J. T., Harris, M. P., Daunt, F., Wanless, S. and Freeman, S.N. (in press) Breeding together: modelling synchrony in productivity synchrony in a seabird community. Ecology

Reed, T.E., Daunt, F., Kiploks, A.J., Burthe, S.J., Granroth-Wilding, H.M.V., Takahashi, E.A., Newell, M., Wanless, S. and Cunningham, E.J.A. 2012. Impacts of parasites in early life: contrasting effects on juvenile growth for different family members. PLOS One 7, e32236. 10.1371/journal.pone.0032236

Burthe, S.J., Daunt, F., Butler, A., Elston, D., Frederiksen, M., Johns, D., Newell, M., Thackeray, S.J. and 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

Frederiksen, M., Moe, B., Daunt, F. et al. 2012. Multi-colony tracking reveals the winter distribution of a pelagic seabird on an ocean basin scale. Diversity & Distributions 18, 530-542

Barlow, E.J., Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Reid, J.M. and Cavers, S. 2011. Weak global population genetic structure in a philopatric seabird, the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Ibis 153, 768-778.

Bogdanova, M., Daunt, F., Newell, M.A., Phillips, R.A., Harris, M.P. and Wanless, S. 2011. Seasonal interactions in the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla: links between breeding performance and winter distribution. Proc. Royal Society B 278, 2412-2418.

Foote, C.G., Daunt, F., Gonzlález-Solís, J., Masir, L., Phillips, R.A. and Monaghan, P. 2011. Individual state and survival prospects: age, sex and telomere length in a long-lived seabird. Behavioral Ecology 22, 156-161

Harris, M.P., Daunt, F., Newell, M.A., Phillips, R.A. and Wanless, S. 2010. Wintering areas of adult Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica from a North Sea colony as revealed by geolocation technology. Marine Biology 157, 827-836

Reed, T., Daunt, F., Hall, M.E., Phillips, R.A., Wanless, S. and Cunningham, E. 2008. Parental responses to parasitism affect production of sons. Science 321, 1681-1682.

Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Greenstreet, S.P.R., Jensen, H., Hamer, K.C. and Harris, M.P. 2008) The impact of the sandeel fishery closure in the northwestern North Sea on seabird food consumption, distribution and productivity. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65, 362-381.

Frederiksen, M., Daunt, F., Harris, M.P. and Wanless, S. 2008. Stochastic weather drives survival and population dynamics in a long-lived seabird. J. Animal Ecol. 77, 1020-1029.

Daunt, F., Afanasyev, V., Adam, A., Croxall, J.P. and Wanless, S. 2007. From cradle to early grave: juvenile mortality in European shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis results from inadequate development of foraging proficiency. Biology Letters 3, 371-374.

Daunt, F., Wanless, S., Harris, M.P., Money, L. and Monaghan, P. 2007. Older and wiser: improvements in breeding success are linked to better foraging performance in European shags. Functional Ecology 21, 561-567.

Daunt, F., Afanasyev, V., Silk, J.R.D. and Wanless, S. 2006. Extrinsic and intrinsic determinants of winter foraging and breeding phenology in a temperate seabird. Behavioural Ecology & Sociobiology 59, 381-388.