skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr Tom Finch

Dr Tom Finch

Postdoctoral Researcher

Room 3.01 David Attenborough Building
Office Phone: 01223 (7)65397


I’m an ecologist / ornithologist with interests in avian population ecology, land-use, long-distance migration and conservation.

  • Conservation Scientist / PDRA, RSPB / University of Cambridge (June 2016 to date)
  • PhD, University of East Anglia (2012-2016)
  • MBiolSci, University of Sheffield (2007-2011)

Research Interests

I'm principally interested in unpicking relationships between 'the environment' and animal behaviour, demography and abundance. In particular, I'm keen to explore how human activity impacts biodiversity, and how this knowledge can be fed into conservation solutions. My research is generally focused on birds, specifically long-distance migrants and those inhabiting agricultural landscapes.

In my current role I am investigating whether the balance between food production and biodiversity can best be met through wildlife-friendly farming ('land sharing') or high-yield farming combined with the protection of land for wildlife ('land sparing'), or a combination of the two. The project will focus on birds in lowland England. In addition to the food/wildlife trade-off, we will also explore the consequences of different land-use scenarios for (at least) two other ecosystem services: greenhouse gas storage and human recreation.

Key Publications


Finch, T et al. (2017) Low migratory connectivity is common in long-distance migrant birds. Journal of Ornithology, doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12635


Finch, T et al. (2016) Insights into the migration of the European Roller from ring recoveries. Journal of Ornithology, doi: 10.1007/s10336-016-1374-y


Finch, T et al. (2015) A pan‐European, multipopulation assessment of migratory connectivity in a near‐threatened migrant bird. Diversity and Distributions21, 1051-1062, doi: 10.1111/ddi.12345


Finch T, Pearce-Higgins JW, Leech DI & Evans KL (2014) Carry-over effects from passage regions are more important than breeding climate in determining the breeding phenology and performance of three avian migrants of conservation concern. Biodiversity and Conservation23, 2427-2444 doi:10.1007/s10531-014-0731-5