Dr Will Miles

Dr Will Miles
SOTEAG Seabird Monitor


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Research Overview:


Seabird population monitoring, seabird ecology and marine pollution impacts are my focal interests. Based on Shetland, I run the long-term seabird monitoring programme of the Shetland Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group (SOTEAG, Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews). Key components of my work include quantifying the population dynamics of breeding and wintering seabirds, pollution monitoring and impact assessment, and planning and coordinating wildlife pollution response strategies.

SOTEAG is globally recognised as a model-example environmental advisory organisation, that provides independent scientific monitoring and expert advice to industry and community stakeholders, in the interest of environmentally responsible industrial activity in a distinctive cultural setting and sensitive natural environment.

Please visit our website to find out more about SOTEAG and the ecological monitoring work carried out on Shetland:



My professional background is primarily scientific research and monitoring, specialising on seabirds and migratory birds. I have worked in a variety of exciting locations for these groups, for example St Kilda, Fair Isle, Ascension Island and the Falklands. Enabling people to engage with wildlife and science has always been a big part of my working life. Alongside my career as a scientist, working in Cambridge, Glasgow and Aberdeen for example, I have also worked as a reserves warden and wildlife tour guide.


Selected publications

Miles, W. T. S., Bolton, M., Davis, P., Dennis, R., Broad, R., Robertson, I., Riddiford, N. J., Harvey, P., Riddington, R., Shaw, D. N., Parnaby, D. & Reid, J. M. 2016. Quantifying full phenological event distributions reveals simultaneous advances, temporal stability and delays in spring and autumn migration timing in long-distance migratory birds. Global Change Biology 23: 1400-1414.

Miles, W. T. S., Mavor, R., Riddiford, N. J., Harvey, P. V., Riddington, R., Shaw, D. N., Parnaby, D. & Reid, J. M.  2015.  Decline in an Atlantic Puffin population: evaluation of magnitude and mechanisms.  PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131527. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131527.

Miles, W. T. S., Parsons, M., Close, A. J., Luxmoore, R., Furness, R. W. 2013. Predator avoidance behaviour in a nocturnal petrel exposed to a novel predator. Ibis 155: 16-31.

Miles, W. T. S., Money, S. L., Luxmoore, R. & Furness, R. W. 2010. Effects of artificial lights and moonlight on petrels at St Kilda. Bird Study 57: 244-251.



1 (of 1 /dk/atira/pure/researchoutput/status/published available) for wtsm. (source: University of St Andrews PURE)
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New tools to evaluate plastic ingestion by northern fulmars applied to North Sea monitoring data 2002–2018 Jan A. van Franeker, Susanne Kühn, Tycho Anker-Nilssen, Ewan W.J. Edwards, Fabrice Gallien, Nils Guse, Jenni E. Kakkonen, Mark L. Mallory, William Thomas Stead Miles, Kåre Olav Olsen, John Pedersen, Jennifer Provencher, Mervyn Roos, Eric Stienen, Daniel M. Turner, Willem M.G.M. van Loon
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2021 vol. 166

Contact Details:

Dr Will Miles

tel: 07511 754554


School of Biology
Scottish Oceans Institute

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The Secretary
Scottish Oceans Institute
Institiud Chuantan na h-Alba
Gatty Marine Laboratory
East Sands St Andrews
KY16 8LB

tel: +44 (0) 1334 463472
fax: +44 (0) 1334 463443