Big congratulations to Agnes for winning the shared price for the best student presentation at the 13th International Seabird Group Conference (2016) in Edinburgh for her work on determinant of breeding success in the norther fulmar.
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For a long time I have been interested in how ecosystems respond to current environmental change. I feel like understanding these responses early is key for realising the huge impact we are having on the planet, and also for designing efficient conservation strategies for minimising this impact. My bachelor project addressed the effects of environmental change on the breeding success of northern fulmars in Orkney. For my masters project I will continue to study the effects of environmental change on birds, this time working with data from a long-term study of Siberian jays (Perisoreus infaustus) in Arvidsjaur, Sweden.
Research from the Arvidsjaur project has uncovered complex social patterns in the species, and has also provided insights into the effect of commercial forestry on the population. Further work by a previous masters student, Kate Layton-Matthews, has established links between environmental factors, such as snow depth and temperature, and Siberian jay survival and reproduction. Building on this, I will try to predict how projected changes in snow depth and temperature will affect the population. I will also attempt to determine whether the effects of environmental change on the demography of Siberian jays are mediated by phenotypic traits, and whether the long-term dynamics of the population differ from the short-term dynamics. I am backed up by a supervisory team consisting of Professor Arpat Ozgul (Population Ecology Group, UZH), Dr. Michael Griesser (Siberian Jay Project, Anthropological Institute, UZH) and Tina Cornioley (Population Ecology Group, UZH).