Senior Research Associate
University of Aveiro and University of Iceland
Portugal and Iceland
Follow José on Twitter @_JoseAAlves_
Most likely to be found…
…Reading colour-rings on waders
Involved with the BOU as:
Ordinary member & Bartender at recent ERC events
BOU member since: 2011 (possibly 2010)
Why are you a member of the BOU?
Because it provides massive support to ornithologists, be it with its grants and bursaries schemes, access to a top journal in the field, or by getting people with similar interests together at its events.
What do you enjoy most about your involvement with the BOU?
Meeting fellow colleagues at BOU events and discussing new ideas, as well as, catching up with their progresses. Having an accessible network of people that deal with similar issues and learning how to solve them is something that I greatly enjoy.
What would you say to anyone who is considering joining (or leaving!) the BOU?
No doubt my vision is biased, but before getting into the bird scene I was involved with other scientific societies (mostly about mammals) and I am currently a member of several other ecological/ornithological societies, but none provides a network and involvement level with members and with the larger community as the BOU does.
If you’ve attended a BOU conference, what did you get out of it?
I saw great talks by fantastic speakers, with whom I was able to talk about my research and ideas (which often ended with them offering me beer at the bar). I got to meet colleagues from other institutes within the UK and from abroad and to discuss pressing issues in ornithology with leading people in the field.
What is your most memorable bird-y experience?
Hard to put a finger on just one, but some ringing occasions are special: back in 2007 in the Wash, I extracted and handled a +29 year old Bar-tailed Godwit which was older than myself and I was informed of this while holding it! In Iceland, I trapped a Black-tailed Godwit on the nest that I had ringed in Portugal the previous winter (i.e. a few months ago). In 2014 I caught a Bt Godwit female that I had ringed two years before as a hatchling, having then ringed its parents and siblings. Now its partner and hatchlings are also ringed – 3 generations and counting! Bird sounds during sunrise in W. Africa are also something hard to beat and flocks of 50-80.000 Bt godwits flying over the Tagus rice-fields leave me speechless every year!