Posts Tagged ‘Fieldwork’

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

Wild Goose Chase – cannon netting on the Inishkea Islands

Wild Goose Chase – cannon netting on the Inishkea Islands

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Last March we had the fantastic opportunity to assist with cannon netting Barnacle Geese on the Inishkea Islands, a wild Atlantic outpost off the coast of Co. Mayo. This research was part of Dr David Cabot’s long term study of the Inishkea Barnacle Goose population, which breed in Greenland and return to the west coast of Ireland each winter. Dr Cabot has been studying this population since 1961, providing the longest running dataset of any Arctic migrant breeding in Europe. He established the project as an undergraduate in our very own Zoology Department in Trinity (back in [&hellip

Dig for victory

Dig for victory

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

In a previous post I showed what I think being a palaeontologist is all about, especially the point that palaeontologists are different from oryctologists. The first ones study changes of biodiversity through time, the second ones extract fossils (but again, both are far from exclusive). Here is a short summary of  experience working at Upper Cretaceous excavation sites in the South of France (that’s around 80-65 million years old) namely in the Bellevue excavation site in Esperaza run by the Musée des Dinosaures. First step is to find a place to dig. Why along the road? It doesn’t have to be but [&hellip

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

What is(n’t) palaeontology like?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

After rereading Sive’s excellent blog post on what is a zoologist or at least what is it like to study it, I remember having a slightly similar difficulty in explaining my background in palaeontology. Reactions range from: “Oh… Palaeontology? That’s like the origins of humans and stuff?” or “So you go on excavations and find ancient Roman pottery?” to “Bheuuh, want another beer?”. What frustrated me is that none of these reactions are correct but neither are they totally incorrect (especially the last one!). Palaeontology is not archaeology Most people that have only a vague idea of what [&hellip

The Wakatobi Flowerpecker: the reclassification of a bird species and why it matters

The Wakatobi Flowerpecker: the reclassification of a bird species and why it matters

By EcoEvo@TCD | News, Research

I posted previously about my PhD research studying bird populations from the tropical and biodiversity-rich region of Sulawesi, Indonesia. I am happy to announce that the first paper as part of this research has just been published in the open access journal PLOS ONE. To read the full paper for free, click here. This work is a collaborative effort from staff in the Department of Zoology in Trinity College Dublin and Haluoleo University in Sulawesi. Here, I’d like to discuss the wider importance of the findings of this study. My current research focuses on bird populations from [&hellip

Mooching in Madagascar

Mooching in Madagascar

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives, Research

I recently returned from a short stint of fieldwork in Madagascar. The purpose of our trip was to run some behavioural tests of echolocation in tenrecs but things didn’t exactly go according to plan. Therefore we had plenty of time to explore and experience some of the wonders of the 8th continent. Here’s a few of our wildlife highlights…  Author and Images: Sive Finlay, sfinlay[at]tcd.ie, @SiveFinlay

Silence of the Tenrecs

Silence of the Tenrecs

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

I’ve been studying tenrecs for almost two years. I’ve read about them, watched video clips and handled hundreds of dead specimens. However, within that time I only met two live individuals, both of which were captive zoo animals. That’s all changed. I’m now well acquainted with a variety of tenrec critters. It turns out they’re a quiet bunch. My supervisor, Natalie, and I spent two weeks in Madagascar working with a research team from the Vahatra Association led by Steve Goodman. The purpose of their trip was to conduct a disease transmission study in bats and small terrestrial [&hellip

Echolocating Tenrecs

Echolocating Tenrecs

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

I’m going to Madagascar tomorrow. I have all the essentials; insect repellent, tent, flat pack wooden box, bat detector, three metres of blackout curtain material… Not the most usual of packing lists admittedly but all necessary items for the trip ahead. I’m going to study tenrecs; cute mammals which are the subject of my PhD. I’m interested in convergent evolution between tenrecs and other small mammals. So far I’ve been focusing on morphological convergence – work which has involved trips to beautiful museums and taming the dark arts of morphometrics. The primary aim of my research is [&hellip

Kenya- A Summary through the vegetation

Kenya- A Summary through the vegetation

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

During the first week of November I travelled to Kenya to help out on the Tropical Field Ecology course, run by Ian Donahue in the Zoology Department.  Final year students from Zoology, Environmental Sciences, and Plant Sciences attended, and I was the postgraduate representative from the Botany Department.  While I should under no circumstances be considered a true Botanist-I study plant-animal interactions, and my botanical skills are mediocre at best- I did my best to learn about the amazing tropical flora of this region.  I’m sure others will write about the trip in detail, but I thought [&hellip

Sulawesi Bird Expedition 2013

Sulawesi Bird Expedition 2013

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

Ah the summer, how I miss it! In mid-June I departed (on the horrendously long journey) to the beautifully sunny, tropical islands off the south-eastern coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia. No, I wasn’t on holidays; I am fortunate enough to call this part of the world my study site. During the six week visit, I aimed to gain further behavioural and ecological data on a number of bird species as part of my current PhD project – for more specifics on that see here. I am even more fortunate to be able to carry out this research with [&hellip