Science has always been a fundamental pillar of WWT’s approach to conservation and the Trust has a long history of research innovation. We believe that conservation decision-making – whether by reserve managers or national governments - needs to be based on evidence. We therefore employ 18 scientific staff, and have eight PhD students, who provide the scientific underpinning of WWT’s conservation work.

Taking core samples in a wetland

WWT science is wide-ranging. We have long-standing strengths in the autecology of threatened bird species, with active research programmes on Bewick’s swan, Greenland white-fronted goose, common scoter and Madagascar pochard. More recently, wetland science work has expanded, and we are investigating the add-on benefits of Natural Flood Management for biodiversity and water quality, and the way in which farm wetlands can ‘subsidise’ terrestrial wildlife in the surrounding area. We are also increasingly involved in social science, for example examining hunter attitudes in the Russian tundra, and the human health and wellbeing benefits of access to wetland nature.

Our staff are specialists in a variety of cutting-edge techniques, including palaeolimnology, water quality assessment, avian demography, wildlife telemetry, and remote-sensing. We collaborate widely, with current partnerships involving several UK universities, other NGOs and governments. Above all we seek to link evidence to public engagement and policy advocacy so that we can deliver science with impact.