The effects of environmental heterogeneity on reproductive performance in a wild bird population (Honours Project)


Understanding how organisms are affected by their environment is a fundamental ecological question, but data to answer such questions can be difficult to collect. A geographic information system (GIS) can allow efficient collection of spatial data when studying such interactions. I am using a combination of GIS and traditional field methods to test for effects of environmental heterogeneity on a population of superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) that has been monitored for 28 years. This will be one of few studies to combine a long-term data set on reproductive performance with the relatively new technology of GIS. This project is being done by Fiona Backhouse, and supervised by Loeske Kruuk and Andrew Cockburn with assistance in using GIS software from Bruce Doran and John Stein from the Fenner School.

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