PhD project on seasonal interactions in migratory songbirds

I am excited to announce that I have just started my PhD project on seasonal interactions in migratory songbirds at the BML. Supervised by Anders Tøttrup and Kasper Thorup, I will investigate how small migratory songbirds respond to the variation in habitat conditions that they encounter throughout the annual cycle. Furthermore, I will explore the spatio-temporal migration patterns of different populations within the same migration system and across species in different migration systems. To address these issues, I will use data retrieved from direct tracking tools such as geolocators and radio transmitters as well as satellite based vegetation indices.

I did my MSc degree here as part of the BML, studying the link between non-breeding ground conditions and breeding success in a population of red-backed shrikes breeding in Denmark. Results from this study suggest that conditions in Africa affect the timing of migration and potentially even carry over to affect breeding success. I am looking forward to extend this study to include several populations and species.

I have previous experience in working with geolocators, mainly from the study on red-backed shrikes and manual radio tracking of songbirds in West Africa. Furthermore, I have worked with stable isotopes as an indicator of local habitat conditions and the application of this tool in determining migratory connectivity.

I am currently preparing to leave for fieldwork in South Africa. The focus of this fieldtrip will be on finding suitable sites in the non-breeding range to study red-backed shrikes and spotted flycatchers. More news and pictures on this exciting excursion will follow when I return.

Best regards

Lykke Pedersen



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