CIE Seminar Series 2014 – Timing is everything! The role of phenology and synchrony for animal migrants as links between communities

Silke BauerSPEAKER: Dr Silke BauerDepartment of Bird Migration, Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland (guest researcher to Deakin University)
DATE: Friday, 13th June 2014
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room ka5.321
TIME: 2:00 pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Room T3.05 and Warrnambool Campus, Room C1.13

ABSTRACT: Each year, billions of animals fly, walk, or swim their way across the planet in pursuit of improved foraging conditions, safety, and reproductive opportunities. However, migrations are not simply the movement of animals but have ecological effects that pervade resident communities. Migrants couple distant communities and ecosystems by a variety of transport and trophic effects, thereby establishing a network of interactions among the sites visited.

Crucial for both the fate of migrants and the intensity of their interactions with residents is the timing of migration, which can be characterised by three dimensions: phenology, synchrony and consistency. These describe the timing of migration relative to the development of key resources (phenology); relative to the migration of other individuals within the population (synchrony); and relative to previous migration events, i.e. repeatability (consistency). I will exemplarily discuss whether migrants use information (cues) on conditions ahead, how such information determines their migration phenology, and how phenology and synchrony affect the fate of migrants and several of their transport and trophic effects.

BIO: Silke Bauer (Swiss Ornithological Institute) presently, on research visit to Deakin University

Silke’s primary research interest is the ecology and evolution of animal migrations, its drivers and determinants, the individual decisions that organisms make before and during migration. Originally mainly interested in the behaviour and fate of (bird) migrants themselves, she became recently fascinated in the implications of migrations to the structure and functioning of communities and ecosystem that are coupled by such regular, long-distance and high-intensity movements. She typically uses a variety of theoretical approaches, ranging from dynamic optimisation models to simple conceptual models.

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