The University of ReadingSchool of Agriculture, Policy and Development

About CAER

Professor Ken Norris   PROFESSOR KEN NORRIS


Room: GU 20 (new Agriculture building)

Tel: +44 (0)118 378 6535

Seychelles Magpie Robin

1982 - 1985

1985 - 1989

1989 - 1992

1993 - 1997

1997 - 2004

2004 - 2005

2005 - date

BSc University College of Wales, Aberystwyth

DPhil University of Oxford

Post-doctoral Research Assistant, University of Oxford

Research Biologist, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Lecturer, University of Reading

Reader in Applied Ecology, University of Reading

Professor of Agroecology and Director, Centre for Agri-Environmental Research

Research Interests
  • Pure and applied avian ecology
  • Endangered species ecology and restoration
  • Development and integration of ecological theory and data in the context of agri-environmental management
  • Response of biodiversity to land-use change

CÆR Projects
  • Cocoa farming and biodiversity in Ghana
  • Jerdon’s courser: The ecology and conservation of Jerdon’s courser in India
  • Landscape models of seed-eating songbirds on arable farmland
  • Large-scale distribution patterns in black-tailed godwits
  • Mauritius kestrel: The ecology and conservation of the Mauritius kestrel
  • Public access and shooting: A field study to measure the effects of public access, under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000), on the success of driven game shooting in England
  • Songbird Survival: Predation and its impact on avian prey populations – a review
  • Spatial heterogeneity: Spatial heterogeneity in habitat quality and dispersal – individual decisions and their population dynamic consequences
  • The breeding ecology of farmland songbirds in relation to adjacent land-use
  • The ecology and conservation of the Seychelles magpie robin
  • Threatened species database management
PhD student projects
  • Danae Stevens: The breeding ecology of spotted flycatchers
  • David Buckingham: The effects of food abundance, sward structure and management on foraging by yellowhammers on agricultural grasslands (completed)
  • David Smith: Managing agri-environment grass fields and margins for orthoptera and farmland birds (completed)
  • Deepa Senapathi: Assessing changing rainfall patterns in Mauritius and their effect on the population dynamics of the Mauritius kestrel
  • Malcolm Burgess: Population mechanisms of a restored population of the Mauritius kestrel
  • Neryssa Glithero: The impact of changing weed management on bird populations
  • Taku Awa: The ecology and conservation of the Grey-necked Picathartes in Cameroon
External Positions

  • Member of NERC’s Peer Review College
  • Executive Editor of Journal of Animal Ecology
  • Scientific Advisor to the Earthwatch Institute
Recent Publications

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

Jones, O.R., Gaillard, J-M., Tuljapurkar, S., Alho, J.S., Armitage, K.B., Becker, P.H., Bize, P., Brommer, J., Charmantier, A., Charpentier, M., Clutton-Brock, T., Dobson, F.S., Festa-Bianchet, M., Gustafsson, L., Jensen, H., Jones, C.G., Lillandt, B-G., McCleery, R., Merilä, J., Neuhaus, P., Nicoll, M.A.C., Norris, K., Oli, M.K., Pemberton, J., Pietiäinen, H., Ringsby, T.H., Roulin, A., Saether, B-E., Setchell, J.M., Sheldon, B.C., Thompson, P.M., Weimerskirch, H., Wickings, E.J. & Coulson, T. (2008) Senescence rates are determined by ranking on the fast–slow life-history continuum. Ecology Letters, 11, 664-673

Burgess, M.D., Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. and Norris, K. (2008) Reduced dispersal reduces the strength of density-dependence in a tropical bird population. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B, 275, 1209-1216.

Stevens, D.K., Anderson, G.Q.A., Grice, P.V. & Norris, K. (2007) Breeding success of Spotted Flycatchers Muscicapa striata in southern England - is woodland a good habitat for this species? Ibis 149 (S2), 214-223

Mattison, E.H.A. & Norris, K. (2007) Intentions of UK farmers toward biofuel crop production: Implications for policy targets and land use change. Environmental Science & Technology 41, 5589-5594

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

Butler, S.J., Vickery, J.A. & Norris, K. (2007) Farmland biodiversity and the footprint of agriculture. Science, 315, 381-384

Senapathi, D., Vogiatzakis, I.N., Jeganathan, P., Gill, J. Green, R. Bowden, C., Rahmani, A., Pain, D., Norris, K. (2007) Use of remote sensing to measure change in the extent of habitat for the critically endangered Jerdon's Courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in India. Ibis, 149, 328-337

Butler, S.J., Vickery, J.A. & Norris, K. (2007) A risk assessment framework for evaluating progress towards sustainability targets. Aspects of Applied Biology, 81, Delivering Arable Biodiversity, 317-323

Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. and Norris , K. (2006) The impact of harvesting on a formerly endangered tropical bird: insights from life-history theory. Journal of Applied Ecology, 43, 567-575.

Stevens, D., Anderson, G., Fisher, G., Norris, K. (2006) The breeding ecology of the spotted flycatcher in Britain. Journal of Ornithology 147, 58-258

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

Mattison, E.H.A., Norris, K. (2005) Bridging the gaps between agricultural policy, land-use and biodiversity. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 20, 610-616

Jeganathan, P., Green, R.E., Norris, K., Vogiatzakis, I.N., Wotton, S.R., Bowden, C.G.R., Pain, D.A. & Rahmani, A.B. (2004) Habitat selection by the critically endangered Jerdon’s courser Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in scrub jungle in Andhra Pradesh, India. Journal of Applied Ecology 41, 224-237

Lecis, R. and Norris, K. (2004) Population genetic diversity of the endemic Sardinian newt Euproctus playcephalus: implications for conservation. Biological Conservation 119, 263-270

Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. and Norris, K. (2004) Comparison of survival rates of captive-reared and wild-bred Mauritius kestrels (Falco punctatus) in a re-introduced population. Biological Conservation 118, 539-548

Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. & Norris, K. (2004) How raptor re-introductions can contribute to understanding population regulation: The Mauritius kestrel a case study. In: Raptors worldwide (eds. Chancellor, R.D., Meyburg, B.-U.) pp. 297-304. WWGBP/MME

Norris, K. (2004) Managing threatened species – the ecological toolbox, evolutionary theory and the declining-population paradigm. Journal of Applied Ecology 41, 413-426

Norris, K. and Harper, N. (2004) Extinction processes in hotspots of avian biodiversity and the targeting of pre-emptive conservation action. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 271, 123-130

Norris, K., Atkinson, P.W. and Gill, J.A. (2004) Climate change and coastal waterbird populations – past declines and future impacts. Ibis 146 (Suppl. 1), 82-89

Lecis, R. and Norris, K. (2004) Habitat correlates of distribution and local population decline of the endemic Sardinian newt Euproctus playcephalus. Biological Conservation 115, 303-317

Norris, K. and McCulloch, N. (2003) Demographic models and the management of endangered species: a case study of the critically endangered Seychelles magpie robin. Journal of Applied Ecology 40, 890-899

Nicoll, M.A.C., Jones, C.G. and Norris, K. (2003) Declining survival rates in a re-introduced population of the Mauritius kestrel: evidence for non-linear density-dependence and environmental stochasticity. Journal of Animal Ecology 72, 917-926

Lecis, R. and Norris, K. (2003) Geographical distribution of the endemic Sardinian brook salamander Euproctus playcephalus with implications for its conservation. The Herpetological Journal 13, 121-124

Lens, L., Van Dongen, S., Norris, K., Githiru, M. and Matthysen, E. (2002) Avian persistence in fragmented rainforest. Science 298, 1236-1238

Sutherland, W.J. and Norris, K. (2002) Behaviour-based models of population growth rate: implications for conservation and prediction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 357, 1273-1284

Sutherland, W.J., Gill, J.A. and Norris, K. (2002) Density-dependent dispersal: concepts, evidence, mechanisms and consequences. In: Dispersal Ecology (eds. J. M. Bullock, R. E. Kenward and R. S. Hails), pp. 134-151. Blackwell Science, Oxford

Panchapakesan, J., Green, R.E., Bowden, C.G.R., Rahmani, A. and Norris, K. (2002) Use of tracking strips and automatic cameras for detecting and surveying Jerdon’s coursers Rhinoptilus bitorquatus in scrub jungle in Andhra Pradesh, India. Oryx 36, 182-188

Norris, K. and Stillman, R. (2002) Predicting the impact of environmental change. In: Conserving bird biodiversity (eds. K. Norris and D.J. Pain), pp 180-201. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Norris, K. and Pain, D.J. (eds). (2002) Conserving bird biodiversity. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Johnstone, I. and Norris, K. (2001) Oystercatchers and cockles: a management tool for fisheries and conservation. RSPB Conservation Review 13, 53-59

Gill, J.A., Norris, K. and Sutherland, W.J. (2001) The effects of disturbance on habitat use by black-tailed godwits Limosa limosa. Journal of Applied Ecology 38, 846-856

Gill, J.A., Norris, K., Potts, P., Grétar Gunnarsson, T., Atkinson, P.W. and Sutherland, W.J. (2001) The buffer effect and large-scale population regulation in migratory birds. Nature 412, 436-438

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

McCulloch, N. and Norris, K. (2001) Diagnosing the cause of population changes: localised habitat change and the decline of the endangered St Helena wirebird. Journal of Applied Ecology 38, 771-783

Gill, J.A., Norris, K. and Sutherland, W.J. (2001) Why behavioural responses may not reflect the population consequences of human disturbance. Biological Conservation 97, 265-268

Gill, J.A., Norris, K. and Sutherland, W.J. (2001) Depletion models can predict shorebird distribution at different spatial scales. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 268, 369-376

Robinson, L.J., Kirby, W., Norris, K. and Atkinson, P.W. (2000) Abundance and distribution of common arable weeds on barley, wheat and linseed stubbles over winter, with reference to stubble use by granivorous farmland birds. In: Fields of Vision - a future for Britain's arable plants (eds. P. Wilson and M. King), pp. 197-202. Sandy, UK: RSPB

Norris, K. and Atkinson, P. (2000) Declining populations of coastal birds in Great Britain: victims of sea-level rise and climate change? Environmental Reviews 8, 303-323

Norris, K., Freeman, A. and Vincent, J.F.V. (2000) The economics of getting high: decisions made by common gulls dropping cockles to open them. Behaviour 137, 783-807

Norris, K. (2000) The conservation and management of saltmarshes for birds. In: British Saltmarshes (eds. B. Sharwood, B. G. Gardiner and T. Harris), pp 341-357. Forrest Text, Cardigan, Wales

Johnstone, I.G. and Norris, K. (2000) The influence of sediment type on the aggregative response of oystercatchers, Haematopus ostralegus, searching for cockles, Cerastoderma edule. Oikos 89, 146-154

Pettifor, R.A., Norris, K. and Rowcliffe, M. (2000) Incorporating behaviour in predictive models for conservation. In: Behaviour and Conservation (eds. L.M. Gosling and W.J. Sutherland), Chapter 12, pp. 198-220. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Johnstone, I.G. and Norris, K. (2000) Not all oystercatchers select the most profitable cockles: a comparison of different feeding methods. Ardea 88(2), 137-153

Norris, K. & Evans, M.R. (2000) Ecological immunology: life history trade-offs and immune defence in birds. Behavioural Ecology 11, 19-26

Norris, K. (1999) A trade-off between energy intake and exposure to parasites in oystercatchers feeding on a bivalve mollusc. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 266, 1703-1709

Norris, K., Brindley, E., Cook, T., Babbs, S., Forster-Brown, C. and Yaxley, R. (1998) Is the decline in the density of redshank (Tringa totanus) nesting on saltmarshes in Great Britain the result of changes in grazing management? Journal of Applied Ecology 35, 621-635

Norris, K. and Johnstone, I.G. (1998) Interference competition and the functional response of oystercatchers searching for cockles by touch. Animal Behaviour 56, 639-650

Brindley, E., Norris, K., Cook, T., Babbs, S., Forster-Brown, C. and Yaxley, R. (1998) The abundance and conservation status of redshank (Tringa totanus) nesting on saltmarshes in Great Britain. Biological Conservation 86, 289-297

Norris, K., Bannister, R.C.A. and Walker, P. (1998) Seasonal changes in the number of oystercatchers Haematopus ostralgus wintering on the Burry Inlet in relation to the biomass of cockles Cerastoderma edule and its commercial exploitation. Journal of Applied Ecology 35, 75-85

Norris, K. and Johnstone, I.G. (1998) The functional response of oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus searching for cockles Cerastoderma edule by touch. Journal of Animal Ecology 67, 329-346

Norris, K., Cook, T., O'Dowd, B. and Durdin, C. (1997) The density of redshank Tringa totanus breeding on the saltmarshes of the Wash in relation to habitat and the intensity of grazing. Journal of Applied Ecology 34, 999-1013

Evans, M.R. and Norris, K. (1996) The importance of carotenoids in signalling during aggressive interactions between male firemouthed cichlids (Cichlasoma meeki). Behavioural Ecology 7, 1-6

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