Kate Matthews | MSc student

I have started my PhD at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, studying the population dynamics of high arctic barnacle geese, Branta leucopsis, on Svalbard.

My previous study at the University of Manchester addressed population dynamics in the marine environment, specifically investigating changes in social structure in a population of north Atlantic Minke Whales (B. acutorostrata). This has led to my growing interest in how populations are responding to changes in their environment. For my master’s thesis I am therefore continuing in the field of population ecology, but this time studying a highly social bird species, the Siberian Jay (P. infaustus).

The Siberian Jay Project was initiated in 1998 to understand the evolution of family living birds and is based in Arvidsjaur, Northern Sweden. As a result of commercial forestry practices, this population exists in a highly heterogeneous habitat. Therefore, I aim to use a matrix-based metapopulation model to investigate how spatial structure, as a result of environmental variability, influences population dynamics of the Siberian Jay. I will be using the long-term data set (1990-2014) available from the project for my thesis, in collaboration with Michael Griesser (Siberian Jay Project, Anthropological Institute, UZH).

2014-2016 Specialised Masters in Environmental Science, Universität Zürich
2013 (Jun-Aug) Research Assistant, Cetacean Research, University of Iceland
2012 (Aug) Assistant Biologist, Andean Condor Conservation Project, Ecuador
2011-2014 BSc Environmental Science, University of Manchester

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