About Us

The Irish Brent Goose Research Group (IBGRG) is made up of a range of government, non-government representatives and academics who share an interest in the conservation of this flyway population of brent geese. Meeting typically once per annum, the Group are involved in a range of activities including steering scientific research, education and outreach. We act informally as an ‘expert’ group towards the implementation of the Africa-Eurasian Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Single Species Action Plan for this population.

Reflecting its wide membership there is no single base of activities for the group. The bulk of the research activity within the group emanates from the Cornwall (Falmouth) campus of the University of Exeter where Professor Bearhop's group resides and the Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH).

The principal officers are Gerry Murphy (Chairman), Dr Kendrew Colhoun (Secretary) and Graham McElwaine (Resightings Co-ordinator). The Secretary also acts as research programme manager formerly supported principally by WWT, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) but currently off the side of his desk. The primary researchers and PI’s on the main scientific elements of the project are and were (PhD, post-docs and PI's no longer involved with the project in a full-time capacity are indicated *) Professor Stuart Bearhop, Dr Kendrew Colhoun, Kerry Mackie, Dr Richard Inger, Dr Andrea Soriano Redondo, Tess Handby, Dr Tom Bodey *, Dr Ian Cleasby *, Dr Freydis Vigfusdottir * (all at the University of Exeter) and Dr Xavier Harrison * (currently at the ZSL) and Dr Gudmundur A Gudmundsson * at IINH.

Much of the project funding comes from the ERC, NERC, WWT, NIEA, NPWS and IINH.

A very large number of citizen scientists (over 1,200 of them!) contribute in a big way to the project via resigtings of colour-ringed birds and/or counts and in addition to Stuart, Kerry and Gudmundur listed above catching is or has been led by Robin Ward, Pete Potts, Carl Mitchell and Alyn Walsh to whom we are very grateful.

The IBGRG committee comprises membership of the following organisations:

What we do (in a typical year)

Generate 10-15,000 resightings per annum across the flyway, observations submitted, cleansed, collated in our database, and information fed back to observers from our resightings co-ordinator Graham McElwaine

Count and age the population (ageing a sample) each autumn (aerial surveys in Iceland and ground counts elsewhere - data goes to the WWT Goose and Swan Monitoring Programme

Some of the scientific team are analysing and/or writing up data for scientific publications

Catching (cannon-netting) geese often 3+ time per year in the winter in Ireland (Click for You Tube video to illustrate what this looks like)

Resighting, observing, counting and catching geese in May in Iceland


IBRG Committee

The IBGRG Committee Members