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Dr Robert Thomson

Senior Lecturer
PhD (Oulu, Finland)

John Day Building, Rm 2.06
Tel:  +27 (0)21 650 3699
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 3295




Activities and research interests

Robert has a broad interest in bird ecology, but is especially interested in between-species interactions. He comes from Pretoria, and grew up birding and ringing in the bushveld areas. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Pretoria, studying mixed species bird flocks in Nylsvlei Nature Reserve for his BSc Hons. These studies led to him being a field assistant in northern Finland. This stint became his MSc thesis at the University of Oulu, which tested the heterspecific attraction hypothesis that migrant songbirds unexpectedly attract to resident songbirds during their habitat selection decisions. He continued with his PhD in Oulu too, further investigating the positive associations in Boreal bird communities, but incorporating the interplay of negative, predation and competition, interactions. He defended his thesis in 2006, and moved to southern Finland to take up a post-doc position at the University of Turku investigating various aspects of raptors and their impact on songbird community structure.

Robert is based in the Percy FitzPatrick Instutute; you can access his main website at