Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Biosciences Seminar Speaker 21 March 2019

Biosciences Seminar Series - Winter 2019
21 March 2019 - 1pm - Zoology Museum

Gone with the wind: from naïve juveniles to fast-food addict adult seabirds

Dr Sophie De Grissac

Our Biosciences Seminar Series continues with a talk by Dr Sophie De Grissac from our very won Department of Biosciences at the Swansea University. Sophie is a seabird and spatial ecologist and ornithologist, broadly interested in movement & behavioural ecology and population spatial dynamic of birds, especially those flying over the seas. She is currently working on mapping and modelling seabird-fisheries interactions in the Irish Sea for the Bluefish Project, an EU-funded Ireland Wales Territorial Co-operation Operation for the Irish and Celtic Sea.

Juvenile animals are more sensitive than adults to all forms of threats, from competition or predation to environmental changes and anthropic disturbances. Therefore, the path from being a newly fledged juvenile seabird to being a successful breeding adult is full of challenges and the learning curve is steep, especially when left alone by the parents. How do juvenile seabirds, on their own, find their way at sea once they have jumped off their natal cliff? How do innate and learnt skills drive them through the vast oceanic landscapes in search of food and a chance to survive? Not all individuals will make it and not all species are armed in the same way to deal with their first year at sea with the various threats they face. 

I will disentangle innate and acquired behaviour in the movement and foraging ecology of juvenile seabirds. One species of procellariforms, the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans), shows great plasticity through their lives, from young to adult age. Plasticity in dispersal and migratory behaviour as well as in breeding and foraging strategies could be critical in how this species adjusts to current and future environmental change. Yet, climate change is not the only factor affecting seabird behaviour, distribution, and population dynamics, and a more immediate threat to procellariforms of all ages is that of the anthropogenic threat posed by fishing practices. I hence then proceed to explore seabird-fisheries interactions at different spatiotemporal scales for several iconic UK seabird species and discuss the potential long-term effects on populations.

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming seminars see here


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