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Dr Graeme Buchanan

Dr Graeme Buchanan

Senior Conservation Scientist in the Conservation Science Department,

RSPB, based in at their Scotland Headquaters in Edinburgh


Almost totally desk-based, Graeme uses spatial data and remote sensing data for multiple purposes related identifying problems and causes of change to develop solutions. This includes monitoring land cover change to assess state and pressure, and developing simple approaches for monitoring land cover change appropriate for situations where computing capacity is limited. He is also interested in the use of species distribution models to identify ranges of poorly studied species, allowing targeting of field surveys or site conservation or population estimation and using global and regional distribution data, with covariates, to identify spatial or topical priority areas or areas of concern. More broadly, he works to expand the use of remote sensing within conservation, and conservation within remote sensing, focusing on what conservationist want from these data, including the effectiveness of conservation actions. 

His roots are in the uplands, and he is still involved in work on upland species habitat associations and drivers of change in UK upland bird populations, identifying problems and candidate causes of decline to inform management. When not being a geek, he also carries out research into specific globally threatened species, including species on Sao Tome and the emerald starling.


  • land cover change
  • bird survey methods
  • spatial statistics and species distribution modelling
  • analysis of global species distribution data to identify problems and priorities
  • genetics (esp. micro-satellites)
  • international collaborations and working with and through BirdLife Partnership for International research
  • biodiversity conservation