Key Research Interests and Expertise

My PhD aims to understand how environmental changes affects the migratory behaviour of long lived partially migratory bird (White storks, Ciconia ciconia). I have studied the partially migratory population of white storks in Southern Portugal and have undertaken two field seasons in Portugal (2016 and 2017) deploying over 70 GPS/GSM transmitters on adult and juvenile white storks. The transmitters provide high resolution location data for the individuals allowing me to study their annual migration as well as fine scale movement behaviours.

The study population is one of the few white stork populations across Europe that is increasing, this has been linked to their use of anthropogenic food sources from introduced crayfish in rice fields and organic waste at landfill studies. The majority of adult white storks are resident in Portugal during the winter and utilise these resources. However EU directives require open landfill sites to be closed by 2018 removing this food resource from the environment. The information from the deployed transmitters helps us to understand the white stork’s reliance on landfill sites and changes to migratory behaviour that may occur after the closures. 

ID: 59683323