Welcome Dave Baines - new SE

Submitted by editor on 18 October 2017.

We are very happy to welcome Dave Baines, Upland Research, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, UK, to our editorial Board. 

Get to know Dave in my interview below:

What's you main research focus at the moment?

My research is primarily on wild game bird conservation and particularly grouse species; red, black and capercaillie. My main themes have been on predator-prey interactions, habitat needs and applied habitat management. Currently however my main focus is on impacts of parasites and associated diseases on population dynamics and harvesting

Can you describe your research career? 

I started my research career with my PhD at Durham University, graduating in 1988 and supervised by Dr John Coulson. My thesis was on the effects of agricultural improvement on breeding lapwings and other wading birds on upland farms in northern England. I joined the Game Conservancy (now Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust), based in the Scottish Highlands in 1989 on a three-year contract to identify causes of decline in the black grouse in the UK. They forgot to end my contract and almost 30 years later I’m still with GWCT. I spent 10 years based in Scotland studying population dynamics of black grouse, capercaillie and invertebrates needed by their chicks in relation to grazers, browsers and predators. In the late 1990s my family and I moved back to northern England, where I established a new research team in the North Pennine Hills. I became the GWCT’s Director of Upland Research. Key studies undertaken in that role include a large-scale experiment on the impact of generalist predators on waders and other ground-nesting birds, black grouse species recovery and range expansion, grouse-raptor conflict resolution, the roles of endo- and ecto-parasites in destabilising grouse dynamics.     

How come that you became a wildlife scientist?

I’ve been keen on wildlife from an early age. I have a passion for the outdoors and collecting field data to address questions. Hence the idea of getting paid to follow your hobby was too good to resist.

What do you do when you're not working?

Think about work. Football, beer and loud rock music help stop me from thinking about work, but hiking in the hills, especially with pointing dogs, starts it again.