PhD Opportunity: Does climate change impact directly on breeding seabirds?

ruedi-nagerRuedi Nager
  • 7 Dec '20

Many seabird populations are declining, and climate change is thought to play an important role in this. While many studies have explored the hypothesis that the impact of climate change on seabird, acts indirectly through impacting the quantity, quality and timing of their prey, little is still known about direct physiological and behavioural effects of climate change on seabirds, and this project aims to increase our understanding of this topic. Higher air temperatures may have direct effects on birds’ heat loads, which has consequences for their growth and survival. An improved understanding of physiological links between weather and reproduction via changes in physiology and behaviour need to be quantified in order to provide a better understanding of the full effects of climate change on seabirds. The risks of climate warming for seabirds may include (i) environmental conditions exceeding heat tolerance and dehydration tolerance limits (thermal physiology) and (ii) temperature-dependent behavioural trade-offs. However, as of yet very little is known on how seabirds in temperate climates respond to rising temperatures, or what the demographic consequences of these effects may have for seabird populations in temperate climates. This project will look at the direct impact of climate warming on breeding seabirds in temperate climates at different scales and in different species and using a variety of behavioural and physiological approaches.

Further information on the project and how to apply can be found at:

uploading Thermal Image Seabirds.png