Lecturer and researcher
School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln
Follow Jenny on Twitter @jennycdunn
Most likely to be found…
…at a computer, thinking up the next reason to be in a hedge (nest hunting) or near a mist net
Involved with the BOU as:
BOU member since: 2011
Why are you a member of the BOU?
I joined the BOU when I attended my first BOU conference, and have been a member ever since.
Tell us a bit more about the project for which you received BOU funding?
I received BOU funding for a project looking at the potential for Trichomonas gallinae transmission to/from European Turtle Doves on wintering grounds in Senegal (originally Nigeria, then Burkina Faso, finally Senegal…long story). I’m fascinated by host-parasite interactions in birds and have worked on both Trichomonas and on blood parasites, so the chance to investigate parasite infection on wintering grounds as well as UK breeding grounds was amazing. The opportunity to lead a research trip to Senegal (having never been to Africa before!) was daunting but a brilliant experience and we collected some fantastic data, despite the airline losing most of our nets/poles/bird bags,etc on the way there!
If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
I’ve been to two BOU conferences: Birds as Predators and Prey was my first, and more recently, Migratory Birds: their ecology and conservation. Both conferences had a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and provided the opportunity to chat to many people, several of whom I have since collaborated with on various projects.
When did your interest in ornithology begin?
I’ve always been interested in natural history, and one of my earliest memories is being (very nearly) pecked by a Secretary Bird at Linton Zoo. That might have done it!
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
My whole PhD was fairly memorable, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be my research trip to Senegal. As my first time in Africa the whole experience was new and different, but having the opportunity to catch and examine (and identify!) completely new – for me – birds in the hand, as well as the familiar Turtle Doves and European migrants was one I’ll never forget.
What is your favourite outdoor place and why?
The Ayres (Isle of Man). Curlew calling across the sands at sunset.