Seabird colonies

downloading data loggers, Chile

From 1997-2002 I studied ancient murrelets (Synthliboramphus antiquus) and other seabirds breeding in a remote location on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), BC. Working for the Laskeek Bay Conservation Society, I developed research priorities, collected and maintained long-term datasets for nesting seabirds and cavity nesters, banded breeding songbirds and seabirds, inventoried and mapped endemic plants, surveyed marine mammals, and measured the effects of introduced species on the island ecosystem.

With Dr. Tony Gaston from Environment Canada, I examined the effects of ocean variability on breeding ancient murrelets. For five years, we assessed adult annual survival rates, annual chick production, and timing of breeding in relation to sea surface temperature and dates for spring oscillation.

In 1994 and 2006, I had the pleasure of studying alcids on Triangle Island, BC where the largest population of Cassin’s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) in the world live. In collaboration with other scientists on the island, I measured chick growth rates, assessed burrow occupancy, banded 1,000s of rhinoceros (Cerorhinca monocerata) and Cassin’s auklets, and explored at-sea foraging behaviours of the tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata).

From 2004-2006, my research on Isla Alejandro Selkirk was the first of its kind to study the provisioning strategy of the adult Juan Fernández petrel (Pterodroma externa), a medium-sized gadlfy petrel endemic to this island. In my dissertation research, I attached miniature Lotek data loggers to breeding adults to assess foraging locations during breeding, and assess water masses used during adult and chick provisioning trips.

These studies have been published in Canadian Journal of Zoology, Bioscience, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Technical Reports, National Plan of Action – Seabirds, Laskeek Bay Conservation Society Technical Reports, Canadian Wildlife Service reports, University of Washington publications, Juan Fernández Islands Conservancy Annual Reports,  and presented at conferences in Canada, Japan, and USA.

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