CIE Seminar Series 2014 – Interactions on the move: Individual migration pattern, habitat use and infestation of long-distance migrants by malaria parasites

Steffen HahnSPEAKER: Dr Steffen Hahn, Department of Bird Migration, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland
DATE: Friday, 16th May 2014
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka5.321;
TIME: 2:00 pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Warrnambool Campus, Room C.1.13 and Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Room T3.05

ABSTRACT: In the world largest bird migration system billions of songbirds migrate annually between their Palaearctic breeding grounds and the African non-breeding sites. Herein, the migrants encounter variable habitats, which differ in their spatial distribution, the suitability for feeding as well as in parasite and vector fauna. As almost all habitats are seasonal, an optimal timing of migration at stopover and residence destinations is fitness relevant. On the other hand, avian malaria can hamper the bird’s movement capacity, and thus acute and chronic malaria infections might cause changes in spatial and temporal migration pattern.

In the seminar I will exemplarily show, how migration patterns can differ within and between distant populations of a long-distance migrating Palaearctic passerine, the common nightingale. Moreover I compare the habitat availability along observed migration routes with habitats along shortest routes and show how individual habitat use might be linked to parasite infection.

BIO: I am an animal ecologist (mainly in ornithology) with special interest in migration ecology, and stable isotope ecology. My research focuses on the consequences of individual migration pattern on the performance of long-distance migrating birds. Currently the interactions between habitat use, habitat-specific infection (risk) by avian malaria and its effects on physiological performance and migration routes and timing are of special interest. Based at the Swiss Ornithological Institute, my study objects are passerine and near-passerine species migrating between the western Palaearctic and Africa.

For enquiries and appointments with the guest speaker, please email to Natasha Kaukov.