Personlig profil


I am interested in how animals cope with challenging environmental conditions, such as those encountered in human-modified landscapes linked to supplementary feeding, habitat modification, urbanisation and human disturbance. My research incorporates physiology, behaviour and evolution to understand how birds respond to environmental stressors and the consequences for performance and fitness. I combine experimental and comparative approaches, primarily in field studies of wild birds, paired with lab measurements of physiological (e.g. hormones, oxidative stress) and molecular (e.g. telomeres, gene expression) traits. I also use 'omics approaches to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying phenotypic responses. 

I am currently focused on two main research themes, as outlined below. In addition, I have ongoing projects on urban avian ecology with Caroline Isaksson (Lund University) and Pablo Salmón (Institute of Avian Research, Germany), landscape of fear with Susanne Åkesson (Lund University) and MHC diversity in songbirds with Helena Westerdahl (Lund) and Anna Drews (Lund). 

Supplementary feeding, thermoregulation and infection tolerance

Intentional feeding of wildlife by humans is a hugely popular pastime, yet we still know little about the consequences for wildlife. Using a combination of large-scale experimental manipulations of food supply in the wild and aviary experiments, I am studying how supplementary feeding affects energetics, immune responses and infection tolerance. Our recent research outputs have shown that provisioned birds utilise shallower nocturnal hypothermia in winter and exhibit an attenuated response to endotoxin consistent with the acquisition of tolerance. Ongoing studies are investigating how supplementary feeding affects the suite of physiological and behavioural responses to infection, the mechanisms by which feeding confers endotoxin tolerance and how feeder use and social interactions affect the acquisition of tolerance. The focal study species is the great tit, which is resident year-round and uses nestboxes for breeding and roosting in winter, facilitating its study year-round.

Life-history ecology of tawny owls

Collaborator: Johan Nilsson (Lund University)

Using nestbox-breeding populations of tawny owls, we are investigating various questions related to movement and foraging ecology, ecotoxicology and life-history strategies. The tawny owl is a long-lived top avian predator that occurs in both human-modified and natural landscapes. Tawny owls are thus potentially vulnerable to anthropogenic influences associated with habitat loss and modification, noise and light disturbance and exposure to rodenticide poisons. Current research efforts are focussed on combining tracking data with studies of diet and sub-lethal effects of rodenticides. Read more on our project page here.

Career and education

2017–present Researcher, Lund University, Sweden

2015–17 Postdoctoral Fellow, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Fellowship, Lund University, Sweden

2014 PhD, University of Glasgow, UK (Supervisors: Pat Monaghan & Mark Bolton)

2008 MSc, University of Bangor, UK (Supervisors: Jan Hiddink & Mike Tetley)

2005–07 Conservation Policy Officer, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK

2004 BSc, University of East Anglia, UK (Supervisor: Isabelle Cote)


Expertis relaterad till FN:s globala mål

2015 godkände FN:s medlemsstater 17 Globala mål för en hållbar utveckling, för att utrota fattigdomen, skydda planeten och garantera välstånd för alla. Den här personens arbete relaterar till följande Globala mål:

  • SDG 3 – God hälsa och välbefinnande
  • SDG 7 – Hållbar energi för alla
  • SDG 11 – Hållbara städer och samhällen
  • SDG 13 – Bekämpa klimatförändringarna
  • SDG 14 – Hav och marina resurser
  • SDG 15 – Ekosystem och biologiskt mångfald


Utforska forskningsämnen där Hannah Watson är aktiv. Dessa ämnesetiketter kommer från personens arbeten. Tillsammans bildar de ett unikt fingeravtryck.
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