Carry-over effects describe a phenomenon whereby processes acting on organisms in one season affect performance in another season. Carry-over effects imposed by climate have potential to explain variation in individual fitness (survival, reproductive success), and thus population dynamics with implications for population persistence. In the few studies that have tested for consequences of climate change, most have focused on the lethal consequences of exposure to extreme heat, despite evidence for pervasive, carry-over effects of high, non-lethal temperatures on reproduction and survival. I offer two field-based PhD projects and several Hons projects that will focus on investigating effects of climate, particularly temperature and rainfall, on reproduction and survival of birds and the implications for population persistence in the face of ongoing climate change.
*** PhD projects
Project 1: This project will be conducted in collaboration with Bush Heritage Australia (BHA) and will be conducted on one of their arid zone properties. BHA offers support in the form of accommodation at the field site, a field vehicle and access to volunteer support for field work. This project requires a high level of field skills and experience working in arduous field conditions, ideally in remote areas; extensive experience with field-based avian research projects and an A-class bird banding (ringing) licence is a distinct advantage.
Project 2. This project will involve collaboration with two citizen science programs that are undertaking some of the longest-running and most extensive bird banding (ringing) projects in Australia. The project would be Canberra-based, with fieldwork to be conducted in two semi-arid field sites, both within a 4-hour drive of Canberra. This project requires a high level of field skills; extensive experience with field-based avian research projects and an A-class bird banding (ringing) licence is a distinct advantage.
*** Hons projects
I offer several field-based Hons projects that will investigate how climate affects behavior, especially the effects of temperature on activity budgets and foraging success and the consequences for breeding success.
Please contact me for more information.