Posts Tagged ‘field-work’

Ecology & Science in Ireland: the inaugural meeting of the Irish Ecological Association

Ecology & Science in Ireland: the inaugural meeting of the Irish Ecological Association

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

In the years to come, 140 ecologists working in Ireland will look back with fond memories of being part of the inaugural meeting of the Irish Ecological Association (24th-26th November). We will remember hard-hitting plenaries, compelling oral presentations, data-rich posters, influential workshops and the formation of the IEA’s first committee. The lively social events might be harder for some of us to remember… There could not have been a more fitting way to open the conference than the plenary seminar from Professor Ian Montgomery (QUB) on Thursday night. Within the hour, he managed to given an incredibly [&hellip

Room for one more?: Egg fostering in seabirds

Room for one more?: Egg fostering in seabirds

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

  When attempting to conserve a rare animal population sometimes every individual counts. Conservationists regularly go the extra mile to protect their study species. The conservation efforts implemented for the Little Tern (Sternula albifrons) in Britain and Ireland demonstrate the success these efforts can have. This species nests on shingle beaches and had experienced catastrophic population declines due to increasing development and use of beaches by people. Little Tern adults are very vulnerable to disturbance and their eggs are particularly vulnerable to walker’s boots! Thankfully a network of wardened colonies, run by a mixture of conservation organisations [&hellip

The Evolution and Laboratory of the Technician.

The Evolution and Laboratory of the Technician.

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

First in a series of posts on life after an undergraduate degree, Alison Boyce gives an account of the life of a scientific technician. Science, engineering, and computing departments in universities employ technicians. Anyone working or studying in these areas will have dealt with a technician at some point but most will be unaware of a technician’s route into the position and their full role in education and research. Technical posts are varied e.g. laboratory, workshop, computer. Funding for technical support is afforded by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to provide assistance in undergraduate teaching. This is [&hellip

Swan wrangling in the Pale

Swan wrangling in the Pale

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

For those of us with an interest in the natural world, Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) are a staple of urban wildlife in Dublin, present in many parks and along both canals. However, it has been 25 years since there has been any real assessment of the state of the Mute Swan population in the Dublin region (1). This has been a period of immense change in the urban landscape. Mute Swan © Graham Prole   This summer, the Irish Midlands Ringing Group (IMRG) started a monitoring project to assess the state of the Mute Swan population in [&hellip

V for Vulture

V for Vulture

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

I have recently returned from a field trip to Swazliand where I was working with my long-time collaborator Prof Ara Monadjem to tag two African White-backed Vultures with high-spec trackers. These devices were purchased with a $20,000 grant from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and are currently sending their locations every minute via the mobile phone network. Up to now we have no idea where the Swazi population of this species forages and this is something the tracking data will reveal. With only a few weeks of tracking data we can see the birds have already ventured into Mozambique and South Africa.   Author Adam Kane, kanead[at]tcd.ie [&hellip

Badgery Fieldwork

Badgery Fieldwork

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

One of the best things about my PhD has got to be the fieldwork. My project involves analysing the GPS data of a population of badgers to find out where they forage, how big their territories are, who lives with whom and how they disperse. This means putting GPS collars on them twice a year. Badgers have a bit of a bad rep, one they really don’t deserve. Contrary to popular opinion they are not vicious beasts that, once clamped on to your foot, won’t let go until they hear the bones crack (people say this to [&hellip

The Sinai Hairstreak: rarer than the Giant Panda and the Snow Leopard

The Sinai Hairstreak: rarer than the Giant Panda and the Snow Leopard

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

In 2010 I graduated from the Department of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin. I spent the next year travelling and completing any wildlife related internship or voluntary position I could get my hands on. I soon faced a dilemma; should I follow in the footsteps of my friends in academia and find a PhD or should I keep searching for a conservation job? I really didn’t know if academia was for me but I knew it would be a great advantage if I wanted to make any kind of an impact in the conservation world. I didn’t [&hellip

I’m on a field course- get me out of here!

I’m on a field course- get me out of here!

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

So, it’s that time of year again; as the cold, damp, dark, weather sets in we look to warmer climes for escape and entertainment. So; Take 26 people, from all walks of life, throw them together in a tropical paradise to camp with bugs, beasts and cold-water showers for 10 days and watch the dynamics and lessons unfold…. Ok so we’re not exactly celebrities, we didn’t skydive into the savanna, or have Ant and Dec provide a narration to our every move, or eat blended kangaroo testicles (though incidentally on the same trip last year I did [&hellip

How to build a vulture trap

How to build a vulture trap

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Last month I spent a month in Mbuluzi Game Reserve in Swaziland attempting to build a walk-in trap that will allow me to capture vultures. I want to be able to tag the birds with GPS trackers and ask a host of interesting questions from which a flood of Nature papers will follow. We’ll have to wait for the vultures to get habituated to the area before adding the front to the trap. Once this happens we can proceed. So this is a ‘to be continued’… Author Adam Kane: kanead[at]tcd.ie Photo credit Adam Kane &nbsp

May I take your order?

May I take your order?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

My PhD involves studying the foraging behaviour of vultures. So far I’ve done theoretical work and also had the luck to get some second hand empirical data. But I’d like to be able to get some field data first hand. To that end I’m setting off to Swaziland on Saturday with the intention of building a vulture restaurant and a walk-in trap. The first item takes a little explaining. Vultures are carrion feeders, which means their food source is unpredictable, the bird never knows when the next wildebeest is going to drop dead. So they’re quite sensitive [&hellip