"Albatrosses are the most threatened family of birds in the world. Their susceptibility to climate change and bycatch by fisheries, combined with their slow life cycle, makes them of paramount conservation concern. While much work to date has focussed on behaviour at the species level, there is growing evidence that the variation in the response of the individual is the crucial driver in population and species level changes. This project would use two unique data sets collected by CEBC-CNRS: 1) life history of individual albatross, including age, sex and relatedness measures 2) foraging behaviour of these individuals across multiple years. These datasets are among the most complete in seabird ecology and offer the potential to study a number of potential causes of variation in foraging strategy simultaneously. We would also initiate a novel project, which I would manage, quantifying personality differences between individuals. Such data would be the first of its kind collected on seabirds, and when combined with the long-term data, would enable the most complete analysis of the causes of individual specialisation in foraging behaviour in seabirds. These data would then be used to examine how such individual strategies may influence the response of albatrosses, and seabirds as a whole, to human threats such as fishery activity and climate change. This project would use state-of-the-art techniques to collect novel and exciting data. Fine scale movement data would be collected using recently developed bio-logging technology and the project would develop state-of-the-art behavioural assays for personality, which would be transferable across species. In addition, spatial analyses techniques are constantly evolving and this project would push to optimise the methods used for these data. These skills would enhance my quality, independence and maturity as a researcher. Such a project would address specific aims of the FP7 programme and multiple EU environmental policies."
Field of science
- /agricultural sciences/agriculture, forestry, and fisheries/fisheries
- /natural sciences/earth and related environmental sciences/atmospheric sciences/climatology/climatic changes
Call for proposal
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