Skip to main content
Contact Us

Senior Scientist – Vertebrate Ecology

Responsibilities include provision of research and advice for policymakers, managers and practitioners involved in wildlife and woodland management and conservation.

Robin Gill is a wildlife ecologist with 33 years experience in research on wildlife ecology. Robin joined Forest Research in 1988, where he has specialised in the management and impact of squirrels, deer and wild boar in woodland environments.

The management of squirrels in forest habitats
The impact of pine martens on grey squirrels
The effects of damage by grey squirrels, deer and other herbivores in forest ecosystems
Conservation and management of endangered species
Thermal imaging for monitoring ungulate populations


Member IUCN Deer specialist group
Council Member, the Deer Initiative
Scientific advisor, Darwin Initiative project on the conservation of Huemul Hippocamelus bisulcus in Chile
The ICF silviculture prize (1993), for publications on wildlife damage in forests.

Vertebrate Ecologist
Tree health

Alice Holt

Alice Holt Lodge




Related Research


Management of non-native or invasive vertebrates

Choosing species to be researched and links to species chosen

Status current


Reducing the impact of non-native or invasive vertebrates to forestry

Research programme to support the management of conflicts caused by vertebrate species and their impacts in woodlands and provide information to support policymakers and practitioners in delivery of forest policy targets. Research areas cover mammal damage to trees and woodland and management of non-native or invasive vertebrates

Status current
Management of roe deer in the peri-urban environment

The page summarises a project funded by Deer Commission Scotland to document interactions between people and roe deer in and around towns, and discover their attitudes to urban deer management.

Mammal damage to trees and woodland

Reducing the impact of mammal damage and of deer fences on sensitive species such as woodland grouse

Impacts of large herbivores on woodlands

Reducing damage caused by large herbivores and use as management tool to achieve biodiversity objectives

Management of grey squirrels

Develop cost effective methods of managing grey squirrels. Investigate the impact of grey squirrels on woodland biodiversity.

Related Publications


Forest damage by deer depends on cross‐scale interactions between climate, deer density and landscape structure

This journal paper investigates the factors that drive deer damage to woodlands using the National Forest Inventory sample square data. We found that the likelihood of damage to trees depends on cross-scale interactions between climate, deer density and landscape structure. The complex interactive effects uncovered are difficult to interpret. We therefore provide an interactive Deer Damage Tool for practitioners to visualize how afforestation is likely to influence the probability of deer damage in different forests and regions across Britain.



Controlling grey squirrels in forests and woodlands in the UK

This Technical Note provides updated information on methods of grey squirrel control.

[Archive] Grazing as a management tool in European forest ecosystems

Nine papers presented at a workshop funded as part of an EU concerted action programme, aimed at reviewing information on the impact of grazing animals on forest ecosystems, identifying management problems, and determining priority areas for research. There is need for better integration of ecological and economic objectives in forest ecosystems; large herbivores can be […]

Peer reviewed journal articles

Gill, R., Massei, G., Pinkham, R., Beatham, S., Whitelaw, B., McNicol, C. (2021) Grey Squirrel Control Research – what new approaches may we anticipate for the future? Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

Croft, S., Franzetti, B., Gill, R., Massei, G. (2020) Too many wild boar? Modelling fertility control and culling to reduce wild boar numbers in isolated populations. PLOS ONE 15(9): e0238429.

Spake, R., Bellamy, C., Gill, R., Watts, K., Wilson, T., Ditchburn, B., & Eigenbrod, F. (2020) Forest damage by deer depends on cross‐scale interactions between climate, deer density and landscape structure. Journal of Applied Ecology.

McNicol, C.M., Bavin, D., Bearhop, S., Bridges, J., Croose, L., Gill, R., Goodwin, C., Lewis, J., Macpherson, J., Padfield, D., Schofield, H., Silk, M., Tomlinson, A., & McDonald, R. (2020) Post-release movement and habitat selection of translocated pine martens Martes martes. Ecology and Evolution DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6265

Spake, R., Bellamy, C., Gill, R., Watts, K.,Wilson, T., Ditchburn, B., Eigenbrod, F, (2019) Targeting woodlands susceptible to deer damage: a multi-scale study across Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13622

McNicol, C., Bavin, D., Goodwin, C. Silk, M., Macpherson, J., Gill, R., Ferryman, M., Bearhop, S., McDonald, R. (2019) Translocated native pine martens Martes martes affect space use by invasive non-native grey squirrels Sciurus carolinensis. J. Applied Ecology. 57(5) DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13598

Gill, R., Ferryman, M., Shuttleworth, C. Lurz, P., Mill, A., Robertson, P. and Dutton, C. (2019) Controlling Grey squirrels. UK Forestry Standard Technical Note 022.

Shuttleworth, C. and Gill, R. (2019) Red squirrel bark-stripping of hornbeam in North Wales. Quarterly Journal of Forestry.

Dunn, M., Marzano, M. Forster, J., Gill R.M.A. (2018) Public attitudes towards “pest” management: perceptions on squirrel management strategies in the UK Biological Conservation 222, 52-63.

C. P. Nichols, C.P., N. G. Gregory, N. Goode, R. M. A. Gill, J. A. Drewe (2018) Regulation of bone mineral density in the grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis: Bioavailability of calcium oxalate, and implications for bark stripping. J Anim Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 2018;102:330–336.

Broome, A., R.J. Fuller, P.E. Bellamy, M.P. Eichhorn, R. M. A. Gill, R. Harmer, G. Kerr & G. M. Siriwardena. (2017) Implications of lowland broadleaved woodland management for the conservation of target bird species. Forestry Commission Research Note. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Nichols, C.P. and Gill, R.M.A. (2016) Bark stripping behaviour by the grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. Chapter 19. In: Shuttleworth, C. and Gurnell, J. (Eds) The Grey Squirrel. The European Squirrel Initiative.532p

Nichols, C.P., Gill, R.M.A., Drewe, J.A. Goode, N. Gregory, N. (2016) A novel causal mechanism for grey squirrels bark stripping: The Calcium hypothesis. Forest Ecology and Management. 367 12-20.

N. Barsoum, R. Gill, L. Henderson, A. Peace, C. Quine, V. Saraev and G. Valatin. (2016). Biodiversity and rotation length: economic models and ecological evidence. Forestry Commission Research Note, Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Van der Wal, R., Miller, D., Irvine, J., Fiorini, S., Amar, A., Yearley, S., Gill, R., Dandy, N. (2014). The influence of information provision on peoples’ landscape preferences: a case study of deer-browsed woodlands. Landscape and Urban Planning, 124, 129-139

López-Alfaro, C., Estades, C.F., Aldridge, D. Gill, R.M.A (2012). Individual-based modeling as a decision tool for the conservation of the endangered huemul deer (hippocamelus bisulcus) in southern Chile. Ecological Modelling 244 104-116.

Dandy, N. Ballantyne, S., Moseley, D., Gill, R. Quine, C. Van der Wal, R. (2012) Exploring beliefs behind support for and opposition to wildlife management methods. European Journal of Wildlife Research,

Gill,R.M.A. and Trout, R. (2011) Potential impact of mammals on short rotation forest biomass crops. Pages 191-198. In: McKay, H. (Ed) Short rotation forestry: a review of growth and environmental impacts. Forest Research Monograph No. 2. ISBN 978-0-85538-827-0

Dandy, N., Ballantyne, S., Moseley, D., Gill, R., Peace, A. and Quine, C.(2011). Preferences for wildlife management methods among the peri-urban public in Scotland. European Journal of Wildlife Research, Volume 57, Issue 6 (2011), Page 1213-1221. [DOI: 10.1007/s10344-011-0534-x]

Dolman, P., Fuller, R., Gill, R., Hooton, D. & Tabor, R. (2010). Escalating ecological impacts of deer in lowland woodland. British Wildlife April 2010 p242-254.

Gill, R.M.A. & Morgan, G. (2010). The effects of varying deer density on natural regeneration in woodlands in lowland Britain. Forestry 83: 53-63.

Harmer, R., Kiewitt, A., Gill, R. & Morgan, G. (2010). Does the development of bramble (Rubus fruticosus L. agg) facilitate the growth and establishment of tree seedlings in woodlands by reducing deer browsing damage? Forestry. 83: 93-102

Mayle, B., Irvine, R.J., Armstrong, H., Dandy, N., Fiorini, S., Gill, R., MacMillan, D., O’Brien, E., Phillip, S., Ross, L., Smart, J., van der Wal, R., White, P., White, R. & Yearley, S. (2009). Collaborative frameworks in land management: A case study on integrated deer management. RELU Newsletter, No.5 (PDF-1067K).

Phillip S., Dandy, N. Gill, R.M.A. & MacMillan, D.C. (2009). Is legislation a barrier to the sustainable management of game species? A case study of wild deer in Britain. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. 52(8) 993-1012.

Fuller, R.J. & Gill, R.M.A. (2009). The spread of non-native Muntjac and Fallow Deer: a problem for lowland woodland birds? Proceedings of the British Ornithological Union – the impacts of non-native species. BOU ProcNet,

Gill, R.M.A., Saucedo Galvez, C., Aldridge, D. & Morgan, G. (2008). Ranging behaviour of huemul in relation to habitats and landscape. Journal of Zoology 274 254-260. (online, Oct 2007).

Jimenez, J., Guineo, G., Corti P., Smith, J.A., Flueck, W., Vila, A., Gizejewski, Z., Gill, R., McShea, W. & Geist, V. (2008). Hippocamelus bisulcus. IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Irvine, R.J., Broadmeadow, M., Gill., R.M.A. & Albon, S.D. (2007). Deer & Global warming: How will climate change influence deer populations, Deer, Autumn 2007, 34-37.

Gill, R.M.A. & Fuller, R.J. (2007). The effects of deer browsing on woodland structure and songbirds in lowland Britain Ibis 149 119-127.

Hemami, M.R., Watkinson, A., Gill, R.M.A. & Dolman, P. (2007). Estimating abundance of introduced Chinese muntjac Muntiacus reevesi and native roe deer Capreolus capreolus using portable thermal imaging. Mammal Review 37 246-254.

Gill, R.M.A. (2006). The influence of large herbivores on tree recruitment and forest dynamics. Chapter 6. In: Danell K., Bergstrom, R. and Rooke T. (eds) The Impact of Large Mammalian Herbivores on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Structure and Function. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Gill, R.M.A. (2004). Lowland deer – their impacts and need for management. C. Quine (Ed) Mammals in woodlands. Mammal Society and Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Saucedo C. and Gill R.M.A. (2004). Huemul (Hippocamelus bisulcus) ecology research :Conservation planning in Chilean patagonia IUCN Deer Specialist Group News No 19 p13-16.

Gill R.M.A. (2003). The economic implications of deer damage in woodlands and forests. In: Goldberg E. (Ed) The future for deer: The Deer Initiative Conference, 28-29 March 2003. English Nature Research Reports 548, p26-31 Peterborough.

Armstrong, H. Gill, R., Mayle, B. and Trout, R. (2003). Protecting trees from deer: an overview of current knowledge and future work (PDF-1227K). Forest Research Annual Report 2001-2, The Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, p28-39.

Sparks, T. and Gill, R. (2002). Climate change and the seasonality of woodland flora and fauna. In: Broadmeadow, M. (Ed) Climate change: impacts on UK forests. Forestry Commission Bulletin 125. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh,

Gill, R.M.A., Webber, J. and Peace, A. (2001). The economic implications of deer damage: a review of current evidence. The Deer Commission for Scotland, Annual Report 1999-2000 p48-49.

Fuller, R.J. and Gill R.M.A. (2001). Ecological impacts of increasing numbers of deer in British woodland. Fuller R.J. and Gill, R.M.A. (Eds) Special Issue, Forestry 74(3) 193-199.

Gill, R.M.A. and Beardall, V. (2001). The impact of deer on woodlands: the effects of browsing and seed dispersal on vegetation structure and composition Fuller R.J. and Gill, R.M.A. (Eds) Special Issue, Forestry 74(3) 209-218.

Gill, R.M.A. (2001). Book Review: The Patagonian huemul: A mysterious deer on the brink of extinction. Diaz, N. and Smith-Flueck, J. (2000) Literature of Latin America, No 3 Buenos Aires, 150pp.

Gill R.M.A. (2001). The deer explosion. Tree News Autumn/Winter 2001.

Harmer, R.and Gill, R. (2000). Natural regeneration in broadleaved woodlands: deer browsing and the establishment of advanced regeneration. Forestry Commission Information Note. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Gill, R. (2000). The impact of deer on woodland biodiversity. Forestry Commission Information Note. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.

Mayle, B. Peace, A. and Gill, R. (1999). How Many Deer? A guide to estimating deer population size. Forestry Commission Field Book. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. 96p

Gill R.M.A. (1999). Deer management to protect forest vegetation – a British perspective. Wiggins, G. (Ed) Proceedings of the Cedar Symposium, Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands, 28-30 May 1996. Ministry of Forests, British Columbia, Canada; p59-68.

Hester, A. Kirby, K., Mitchell, F. Gill R., Latham, J. and H. Armstrong (1998). Ungulates and forest management in the British Isles. Chapter 4 In: Humphrey, J., Gill, R.M.A. and Claridge, J. (Eds). Grazing as a management tool in European forested ecosystems. Forestry Commission Technical Paper 25.

Cederlund, G., Bergqvist, J., Kjellander, P., Gill, R., Gaillard, J.M., Boisaubert, B., Ballon, P. and Duncan, P. (1998). Managing roe deer and their impact on the environment: maximising the net benefits to society. Chapter 14 In: The European roe deer: the biology of success. Andersen, R., Duncan, P. & Linnell, J. D. C. (eds) Scandinavian University Press, 1998 p337-372.

Mayle, B. Gill, R. and Pepper, H. (1998). Management of deer in the lowlands. Forest research annual report and accounts 1997-98. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. Pages 51-55.

Gill, R.M.A. (1998).  The use of thermal imaging for deer population research and management. In: Goldspink, C.R., King, S. and Putman, R.J. (Eds) Population ecology, management and welfare of deer. Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester. viii+119p

Gill R.M.A., Thomas, M.L. and Stocker, D. (1997). The use of portable thermal imaging for estimating deer population density in forest habitats. Journal of Applied Ecology, 34 1273-1286.

Gill R.M.A., Johnson A.L., Francis A., Hiscocks K., Peace A.J. (1996). Changes in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus L.) population density in response to forest habitat succession. Forest Ecology and Management 88 31-41.

Gill, R.M.A. (1996). Huemul Monitoring and Conservation. Field Research News, No. 8 p2, Raleigh International, London.

Gill, R.M.A. (1996). Book Review: “Behavioural Ecology of Siberian and European roe deer” by A. Danilkin in association with A.J.M. Hewison, Chapman and Hall (1996). Journal of Animal Ecology 1996 65 851-852.

Gill R.M.A., Gurnell J., Trout, R.C. (1995). Do woodland mammals threaten the development of new woods? In: Ferris-Kaan, R. (Ed) The Ecology of Woodland Creation, p200-224. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester.

de Jong C.B., Gill, R,M.A., van Wieren, S.E., Burlton, F.W.E. (1995). Diet selection by roe deer Capreolus capreolus in Kielder Forest in relation to plant cover. Forest Ecology and Management 79 91-97.

Bodmer R.E., Fang T.G., Moya L.I., Gill, R.M.A. (1994). Managing Wildlife to conserve Amazonian forests: population biology and economic considerations of game hunting. Biological Conservation 67 29-35.

Gill R.M.A. (1992). A review of damage by mammals in north temperate forests: 1. deer. Forestry 65 145-169.

Gill R.M.A. (1992). A review of damage by mammals in north temperate forests: 2. small mammals. Forestry 65 281-308.

Gill R.M.A. (1992). A review of damage by mammals in north temperate forests: 3. impact on trees and forests. Forestry 65 363-388.

Gill, R.M.A. (1992). Leader browsing of Sitka spruce. Report on forest Research 1991. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh. 108p.

Gill R.M.A. (1991). Grazing animals: their impact and potential value in ride management. In: Ferris-Kaan, R. (Ed) Edge Management in Woodlands. Proceedings of a Symposium held at Alice Holt, Surrey, 17 October 1989. Forestry Commission Occasional Paper 28, 49-56.

Ratcliffe P.R. and Gill R.M.A. (1991). The influence of mammals on the regeneration of forest communities. In: Packham, J.R. (Ed) Future Forests, Lessons from Experience. Proceedings of a symposium held at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, 16 March 1991. Wolverhampton Polytechnic and the Arboricultural Association, p54-70.

Gill R.M.A. (1990). Monitoring the Status of European and North American Cervids. GEMS Information Series 8. Global Environment Monitoring System, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya 277p.

Rowe J.J. and Gill R.M.A. (1985). The susceptibility of tree species to damage by grey squirrels in England and Wales. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 79, 183-190.