I am interested in understanding how species respond to the various driving factors of global change at different population, spatial and temporal scales. In particular, my research focuses on how vertebrate species are affected by climate change, changes in land use, development of renewable energy sources, and modified predator and prey communities. I am also interested in developing methodologies that can improve effectiveness of wildlife monitoring or that allow us to discern finer-scale effects of global change factors than those detectable through traditional approaches.

Some of the specific topics I am working on or have worked on in the past include:
    • The response of populations to long term weather patterns and changes in land use.
    • Demographic processes in threatened bird populations and interactions with other species.
    • Effects of agricultural practices and altered predator communities on threatened bird populations.
    • Interactions between wind energy development and bird populations.
    • Using physiological parameters of top predators as a fine-scale, integrative measure of an ecosystem’s quality.
    • Developing survey methodologies for rare species.

What's new?

May 2016
The Dipper Ecology Project team contributed to the guide for monitoring Dipper populations featured in the latest issue of the BTO's Life Cycle.

Full issue available here
May 2016
For the last couple of years I've been assisting with research and filming for a documentary on urban wildlife produced by Crossing the Line Films. The four-part series Wild Cities will be broadcast on RTÉ1 in May and June.

Feb 2016
Our Cinereous Vulture study made the cover of the Ecological Society of America's bulletin as one of their highlighted papers. It includes a brief summary of the study and some nice vulture pics!

Cover here Summary and pics here
Feb 2016
Our study on Cinereous Vulture populations in southern Spain has been published in Ecology: nest productivity is the result of a trade-off between the benefits and disadvantages of colonial breeding.
Abstract here Full text here
Jan 2016
First publication from the WindHarrier project in Irish Birds: Reproductive output of Hen Harriers Circus cyaneus in relation to wind turbine proximity.
Full text here
Sep 2015
In 2014 Cork was the county with most Dippers ringed across all of Ireland and the UK!
BTO ringing report here
July 2015
On Mooney Goes Wild (RTE Radio 1), talking about wolves with John O'Halloran.
Listen here
Jan 2015
Giving a presentation at the IRSG conference: From recovery to uncertainty, changing fortunes for Cinereous Vultures in southern Spain.
Jan 2015
After 8 months looking at the interactions between wind farms and Hen Harriers, it's back to the PhD and Dippers!
Aug 2014
The Dipper project shows the effects of climate change on the documentary Creedon's Weather (RTE Television).
More info here
May 2014
Putting the PhD on hold to take on a short research officer position looking at the interactions between Hen Harriers and wind farms in Ireland.
Project website
Feb 2014
The Dipper project on Mooney Goes Wild (RTE Radio 1) with Pat Smiddy, Barry O'Mahony and myself.
Listen here

Nov 2013
Giving a presentation at the 6th Irish Ornithological Research Conference: Hen Harrier nesting behaviour: data from nest cameras
Oct 2013
At the SOC annual conference in Scotland talking about raptors: From Merlin to Harpy Eagles, case studies in raptor conservation.
Sep 2013
Starting a PhD at UCC looking at the effects of global change on Dipper populations.
Project website

  A short clip of the species I am currently working on, the White-throated Dipper.

 Contact information
: dfernandezbellon [at] gmail.com // dfernandezbellon [at] ucc.ie
address: Darío Fernández-Bellon
              G16, Cooperage (UCC)
              Distillery Fields, North Mall
              Cork, Ireland
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last updated: June 2016