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 Julia Newth

Julia Newth

PhD Student



My research interests focus on using multi-disciplinary approaches to understand and inform the management of conservation conflicts, particularly those that impair ecosystem health. Most recently, this has involved undertaking research on integrated social and ecological datasets, advocacy and policy work for issues affecting wetland species of conservation concern, such as lead poisoning and illegal hunting. I engage with a range of stakeholders to bridge research, policy and public interfaces. Working at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust within a holistic ‘One Health’ framework, my interests extend to human health and in particular, understanding the impact of ‘blue space’ on physiological and psychological well-being.

I am currently undertaking my PhD under the supervision of Professor Stuart Bearhop and Professor Robbie McDonald while working as a Senior Ecosystem Health Officer at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge. My research project explores the biological effects and conservation conflicts relating to the illegal hunting and lead poisoning of migratory swans.


2013 – Current: PhD in BioSciences under the supervision of Professor Stuart Bearhop and Professor Robbie McDonald (University of Exeter), Dr Ruth Cromie and Dr Eileen Rees (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust)
2004: BSc Geography (University of Southampton)


I am currently undertaking my PhD while working as a Senior Ecosystem Health Officer at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Slimbridge, GL2 7BT


jln204@exeter.ac.uk / julia.newth@wwt.org.uk



Research interests

  • The resolution of conservation conflicts
  • Ecosystem health
  • Wetland and wetland species conservation
  • Avian ecology
  • Evaluating impacts of “blue space” on human health and well-being
  • Designing and evaluating impacts of initiatives to engage people with nature

Research projects

Current projects

  • Illegal hunting of Bewick’s swans in the Russian Arctic: the role of hunters’ perceptions and attitudes
  • Identifying social perspectives among stakeholders in England relating to the issue of lead poisoning of waterbirds
  • Long-term trends in blood lead levels of wildfowl in the UK
  • Assessing the impacts of ‘blue space’ on the  psychological and physical well-being of people  

Key publications

Newth, J. L., Rees, E. C., Cromie, R. L, McDonald, R. A., Bearhop, S., Pain, D. J., Norton, G. J., Deacon, C. and Hilton, G. M. 2016. Widespread exposure to lead affects the body condition of free-living whooper swans Cygnus cygnus wintering in Britain. Environmental Pollution 209: 60-67.

Wood, K. A., Newth, J. L., Hilton, G. M., Nolet, B. A. & Rees, E. C. 2016. Inter-annual variability and long-term trends in breeding success in a declining population of migratory swans. Journal of Avian Biology 47: 001-013.

Cromie, R. L., Newth, J. L., Reeves, J. P., O’Brien, M. F., Beckmann, K. M. & Brown, M. J. 2015. The sociological and political aspects of reducing lead poisoning from ammunition in the UK: why the transition to non-toxic ammunition is so difficult. In: Delahay RJ, Spray CJ (eds). Proceedings of the Oxford Lead Symposium. Lead ammunition: understanding and minimising the risks to human and environmental health. Edward Grey Institute, The University of Oxford. pp 104-124. Available at: http://oxfordleadsymposium.info.

Newth, J., Cromie, R. & Kanstrup, N. 2015. Lead shot in Europe: conflict between hunters and conservationists. In: Redpath, S. M., Gutierrez, R. J., Wood, K. A. & Young, J. C. (eds) Conflicts in Conservation: Navigating towards solutions. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 177–179.

Newth, J. L., Cromie, R. L., Brown, M. J., Delahay, R. J., Meharg A. A., Deacon, C., Norton, G. J., O’Brien, M. F. & Pain, D. J. 2012. Poisoning from lead gunshot: still a threat to wild waterbirds in Britain. European Journal of Wildlife Research 59: 195–204.

Cromie, R. L., Lee, R., Delahay, R. J., Newth, J. L., O’Brien, M. F., Fairlamb, H. A., Reeves, J. P. & Stroud, D.A. 2012. Ramsar Wetland Disease Manual: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management of Animal Disease in Wetlands. Ramsar Technical Report No. 7. Ramsar Convention Secretariat, Gland, Switzerland.

Newth, J. L., Brown, M. J. & Rees, E. C. 2011. Incident of embedded shotgun pellets in Bewick’s Swans Cygnus columbianus bewickii and Whooper Swans Cygnus cygnus wintering in the UK. Biological Conservation 144: 1630-1637.

Pain, D.J., Cromie, R.L., Newth, J.L., Brown, M.J., Crutcher, E., Hardman, P., Hurst, L., Mateo, R., Meharg, A.A., Moran, A.C., Raab, A., Taggart, M.A. & Green, R. 2010. Potential hazard to human health from exposure to fragments of lead bullets and shot in the tissues of game animals. PLoS ONE 5(4). e10315. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010315

Cromie, R.L., Loram, A., Hurst, L., O’Brien, M., Newth, J., Brown, M.J. & Harradine, J.P. 2010. Compliance with the Environmental Protection (Restrictions on Use of Lead Shot)(England) Regulations 1999. Report to Defra, Bristol. Pp 99.



Supervision / Group

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