I just started an exciting PhD program at the Bird Migration Lab with Kasper Thorup. My research interests center especially on studying phenotypic plasticity in migrating birds, from flexibility in individual behavior to adaptations acquired at population and species level. Within this PhD project I will study bird migration patterns at inter- and intra-specific level and the influence of environmental pressures. I will seek for the understanding of the inherited migration mechanisms using juvenile common cuckoos as the model organism suggested migrating by simple directional orientation. We will use up-to-date telemetry combined with existing data and Geographical Information Systems to find the answers on how birds control their fascinating migration movements.
My previous research work consisted of different stages. During the last year, I ran a project at the University of Groningen investigating the distribution and habitat use of staging ruffs along the last decade in The Netherlands. I also collaborated on a project on the black-tailed godwit population dynamics with the satellite transmitter attachment and monitoring in staging and breeding areas. Earlier stages included work in different research projects on avian breeding ecology at the University of Montana and the Smithsonian Institution, USA. Bird migration phenology programs also occupied several training and teaching periods at the Klamath Bird Observatory and the University of Utah, USA. Before these, I developed my M.S. Thesis at the Doñana Biological Station, the University of Pablo de Olavide, and the University of Oviedo, Spain. I studied the adaptive potential to climate change of two migrant bird species, the northern wheatear and the water pipit, in North Spain. The results of this work suggested that climate and its interaction with geographical barriers could be involved in microevolution phenomena in the studied populations.
I will be back with interesting research about the sentinels of the air! In the meantime I would like to share a few pictures of preceding works.
– Ruff Philomachus pugnax mark-recapture programme 2013 in Friesland, The Netherlands. University of Groningen
– Population dynamics in the black-tailed godwit Limosa limosa limosa. PTT attached on an adult at the University of Extremadura, Spain 2013. University of Groningen
– Breeding ecology and demography in the wood thrush Hylocichla mustelina in Indiana, USA 2012. Smithsonian Institution
Spot recording in wood thrush adult
Wood thrush nestling equipped with radio tag and color-rings
An intruder in the brood…(a brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater)
– Migration phenology at Rio Mesa, Utah, USA 2012. University of Utah
Western kingbird Tyrannus verticalis Black-chinned hummingbird Archilochus alexandri. 3.1 grams!
Yellow-breasted chat Icteria virens Gray vireo Vireo vicinior
– Effect of the climate change on alpine bird populations, Picos de Europa, Spain 2010. University of Oviedo, Doñana Biological Station, and University of Pablo de Olavide.
Alpine sparrow Montifringilla nivalis Rofous-tailed rock thrush Monticola saxatilis