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BOU John & Pat Warham Studentship | 2018

Blue Petrel for Warham

For postgraduate studies of Sphenisciform and Procellariiform seabirds

 
 
The BOU is pleased to announce that the first BOU John & Pat Warham Studentship has been awarded to Professor Jenny Gill at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia.
 
Seabirds undertake incredible journeys across the ocean, and our understanding of their movements is being transformed by advances in technology. For some population, sufficient individual have been tracked to allow us to explore the ecological processes involved in these large-scale movements, and the consequences for impacts of human activities such as fishing, pollution and climate change that are transforming the marine environment
 
The first BOU John & Pat Warham Studentship will complement existing studies of the ‘Round Island petrel’, a hybrid Pterodroma petrel breeding only on Round Island in the Indian Ocean.
 
Round Island petrels have been the subject of a study by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) since 2009. These petrels breed at a single colony (Round Island),
23 km off Mauritius, and ZSL studies have shown that this is a three-way hybrid complex consisting of one species from the Atlantic (Pterodroma arminjoniana) and at least two from the Pacific (P. heraldica and P. neglecta).
 
The migratory routes of over 500 individual Round Island petrels have been tracked with geolocators, and this BOU-funded studentship will use these data to explore the factors influencing the extraordinary levels of individual variation in ocean movements of these birds and the implications for the demography and conservation of the species.
 
Prof Jenny Gill (UEA) stated “we are really delighted to receive this BOU funding, which will allow us to bring together researchers from UEA, ZSL, British Antarctic Survey and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation to carry out this very exciting project”.
 
Prof Ken Norris (ZSL) added “Round Island petrels are a fascinating combination of three petrel species inter-breeding in one remote ocean location that undertake incredible journeys around the Indian Ocean. We’re excited about this opportunity as this funding will help us investigate many of the questions that have arisen from the tracking studies we’ve been undertaking in recent years”.
 
Prof Phil Atkinson, Chair of the BOU’s Grants Committee commented “we’re delighted that the first BOU John & Pat Warham Studentship has been awarded to a team with a proven track record in addressing novel research questions. This should prove to be both a challenging and interesting study into a remote and complex taxon”.

This PhD will run from October 2018 to March 2022. We will make a further announcement when the application period for this project is open.
 
BOU John & Pat Warham Studentships are funded by a bequest left to the BOU by the late John and Pat Warham for the study of of Sphenisciform and Procellariiform seabirds.
 
Image Credit
Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea © JJ Harrison | via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY-SA 3.0
Round Island petrel Pterodroma sp © Malcolm Nicoll

 

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