More information about CAnMove and the research activities within the programme can be found at:


torsdag 27 augusti 2009

Bat Migration in the Baltic Area

The knowledge about bat migration still lags behind that of birds, while there appears to be an increasing research interest in bat migration as illustrated by the recent conference on bat migration in Berlin 16-18 January 2009. Recent advances in methodologies of tracking small animals may change this, but there are still hurdles to overcome in the study of bat migration. Around the Baltic Sea there have been different efforts to study bat migration, and this Symposium aims at bringing together people interested in bat migration to explore the current state of knowledge and possibly to initiate a concerted effort in the near future. At the symposium topics such as migration theory, case studies and methodology will be covered. What are the challenging questions? How can they be addressed? How can we benefit from collaboration around the Baltic Sea?

Anyone interested in participating are welcome to do so in this 3 day symposium, to be held at the Ecology Building, Lund University 12-14 November, 2009. Through a grant from the Hans Kristiansson fund the travel and accommodation costs, including a symposium dinner, can be covered for a limited number of participants. Please register by sending an email to: anders.hedenstrom@teorekol.lu.se , with an estimated cost for your participation. The funding will be divided so that participants from as many countries as possible can join the symposium.

The program will consist of talks, demonstration of methods, and round-table discussion. In case the slots for oral presentations become exhausted, there will be a possibility to present posters.

Looking forward to receiving your registrations, not later than 30 September.

Anders Hedenström , Centre for Animal Movement Research (CAnMove), Lund University

tisdag 25 augusti 2009

Symposium on migration at SICB meeting in Seattle, 3-7 January 2010

Dear All,

Melissa Bowlin currently a Postdoc in Lund has asked me to post an announcement for a coming sumposion, Integrative Migration Biology, which will be held at the 2010 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting, Jan. 3-7, in Seattle, WA. You may submit an abstract and atted the meeting, which I believe will be of great interest to many in CAnMove.
Please find more information below:

Call for abstracts/symposium announcement - Integrative Migration Biology.
Deadline 11 September.

We are sending out a call for abstracts to present in a session complementing our symposium, Integrative Migration Biology, which will be held at the 2010 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting, Jan. 3-7, in Seattle, WA. We would especially like to extend this invitation to students and post-docs, but welcome abstracts from all researchers currently studying animal migration. As a student or post-doc, this would give you a wonderful opportunity to interact with some of the top researchers in the field of animal migration. We welcome submissions for both contributed papers and posters, and encourage students to apply for SICB’s Charlotte Mangum Student Support Program. Please check out the SICB meeting page at http://www.sicb.org/meetings/2010/index.php3 for more information.

Billions of animals migrate each year, and they can have enormous effects on the communities and ecosystems they inhabit. We wish to bring together researchers from all over the world who are attempting to integrate ecology, evolution, behavior, physiology, and theory in order to understand the phenomenon of migration. In order to migrate, organisms themselves must integrate many aspects of behavior, physiology, genetics, and morphology. Migration is therefore an excellent system in which to study adaptation and the interplay between various ecological and evolutionary levels of analysis. Traditionally, however, researchers have tended to focus on one narrow aspect of migratory behavior to the exclusion of all else. More recently, biologists have begun to examine multiple aspects of migration in order to better understand this important life history strategy. The primary goal of this symposium is to bring these researchers together with students and post-docs who are just staring their research programs in order to foster discussion and collaboration and further the development of integrative migration biology research.

This symposium and the complementary session(s) are designed to provide a venue for researchers from around the globe to discuss the past, present, and future of migration research. The list of symposium speakers and preliminary titles include:

1. Melissa Bowlin (Lund University), Isabelle-Anne Bisson (Princeton University), & Martin Wikelski (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology). “Integrative migration biology: Past, present, and an exciting future.”

2. Marilyn Ramenofsky (University of California Davis). “Endocrine and metabolic parameters coincide with daily fueling and flight cycles of captive migrants.”

3. Anders Hedenström (Lund University). “Testing migration theory: the utility of inegrative approaches using field experiments and wind tunnels.”

4. Chris Guglielmo (University of Western Ontario). TBA

5. Susanne Åkesson (Lund University). “Endogenous migration programs, migratory fattening and orientation in passerine birds.”

6. Kasper Thorup (University of Copenhagen). “Understanding the migratory orientation program in birds: extending laboratory studies to studying free-flying migrants in a natural setting.”

7. Tom Kunz (Boston University). TBA

8. Nir Sapir (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem). “The effect of weather on migrating bee-eaters studied by radio-telemetry and numeric atmospheric model.”

9. Judy Shamoun-Baranes (Amsterdam University). “Integrating measurements and models to study the influence of weather on migration.”

10. Peter Marra (Migratory Bird Center, Smithsonian Institution). “Seasonal interactions and carry-over effects – understanding migration in the context of the annual cycle.”

11. David Wilcove (Princeton University). TBA

Additional information will be posted on our symposium website, which can be found here: http://sicb.org/meetings/2010/symposia/index.php3 once we have finalized some additional details. If you have questions about the symposium or the meeting, please contact us at melissabowlin at gmail dot com or ibisson at princeton dot edu.

Funding for this symposium was provided by MIGRATE, an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network, and SICB.

Note: in order to ensure that your talk or poster will be placed in the correct session, be sure to put our symposium, ‘Integrative Migration Biology’ into the field following the statement, “I would like to be in a session complementing a regular symposium” on the abstract submission form on SICB’s meeting webpage.
We hope to see you in Seattle!

fredag 21 augusti 2009

Bat migration project started at Ottenby

During this autumn, 15 August to 15 October 2009, CAnMove representatives will be monitoring the bat migration at Ottenby, southern tip of the island Öland in the Baltic Sea. This is a famous place regarding bird migration with a bird observatory estblished in 1946 and still running. That bats migrate at Ottenby has been known from the use of bat detectors, but hitherto no systematic study has been conducted. This year the bat activity will be monitored using a new bat detector, D500X, which automatically records bat sounds and save them as sound files for analysis. We use 5 units of the D500X, strategically placed around the southern tip of Öland. Only in the first week of field work several hundred of files containing bats have been recorded, although several nights have been windy with rather low bat activity. We have also tried to catch bats for ringing, but only few bats have been caught so far. The most common species recorded so far is Pipistrellus pygmaeus, follwed by P. nathusii and Nyctalus noctula. We have also recorded a few Pipistrellus pipistrellus (a more continental species), Myotis daubentoni, Eptesicus nilsonii and E. serotinus. More species may be hidden among the many files not yet analysed. We expect increasing number of P. nathusii as it is known to be migrating in large numbers along the opposite side of the Baltic (e.g. Latvia). The field work is carried out by Master Student Laura Guia, and during the first week we have also been helped by german bat expert Lothar Bach, who has itroduced us into the art of catching and identifying bats, both in the hand and from sound recordings. The project will also inlcude an attempt to track bats using radio transmitters.
Even if the knowledge about bat migration lags behind that of birds, we will hopefully learn more from this project.
The pictures show (from the top):
Lång Jan, the majestic light house on southern Öland (upper left).
The bat detector D500X (Upper right).
A D500X is being placed on the shore at sun-set by Lothar Bach and Laura Guia (center left).
A D500X being rigged for the night, using local geological attributes (center right).
Catching a bat in net (lower left).
A long-eared beuty Plecotus auritus (lower right)

torsdag 20 augusti 2009

Damselfly range expansions, field work and media coverage

We soon have the summer of 2009 behind us, and for me and my co-workers it has been an intense field season with damselflies (as usual). In early July, postdoctoral researcher Shawn Kuchta (upper left) made a field and collection trip up to central Sweden and the famous biogeographic limit Limes Norrlandicus, which is traditionally defined by the river Dalälven (which is not completely correct, however).
Many animal and plant species do either not move north of this sharp biogeographic boundary, or they do not move south (in the case of species with northern distributions). This sharp biogeographic barrier is of course extremely interesting in terms of constraints on the evolution of range limits: why do species not simply adapt and evolve traits so that they can expand their current ranges?
According to a much-discussed population genetic model developed by the evolutionary geneticists Mark Kirkpatrick and Nick Barton, range limits of species are constrained by migration and maladaptive gene flow from populations in the centre of a species range, which will "swamp" local adaptation of populations at range limits.
To evaluate this and other explanations for the range limit of the banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens, territorial male with wings spread out), Shawn Kuchta and I collected specimens of this species from Central Sweden, with the aim to analyze population genetic parameters (effective population sizes, migration rates etc) of these populations at the range limit, and compare these populations with populations in the centre of the species range. Another postdoc, Maren Wellenreuther, is also involved in this project.
We are also interested in the specific phenotypic traits that might limit range expansion in C. splendens. One such trait, which might be important in terms of thermoregulation, are the size of the dark melanized wing patches which cover c. a. 50 % of the wing area in this species. Compared to its close congeneric relative (C. virgo, lowest figure), C. splendens does not have as much melanin on its wings, and this interspecific difference might explain which C. virgo has a range that extends much further north, up to northernmost Fennoscandia.
The situation might change in the future, though, as studies in the UK on how dragonflies and damselflies respond to ongoing climate change have revealed that both species are expanding their range distributions northwards. Maren Wellenreuther, me and a finnish colleague (K. Tynkkynen) recently investigated the potential future consequences of such range expansions in terms of sexual isolation between these species by experimentally moving C. splendens female in to the allopatric zone of C. virgo. The results? Well, the study has now been accepted for publication and the article will appear in a future issue of the journal Evolution, so keep your eyes open!
During our trip north, Shawn and I also visited CAnMove-leader Professor Susanne Åkesson and her husband Professor Anders Hedenström at their cosy cottage in Östhammar, Uppland. Susanne and Anders took us on a floristic trip, and on the picture in the upper right corner, you see what an enthusiastic plant photographer Susanne is in her spare time! Being a naturalist myself, I think this is very important, to get new idéas for research and teaching.
For those of you who are interested in hearing more about our damselfly research projects, they have been covered quite extensively by Swedish media the last week. I was interviewed by the regional news programme "Sydnytt" about these damselflies and how they might respond to climate change, and you can see this programme here. You can also listen to a 20-minute long radio interview in the programme "Vetandets Värld", and this you can find here. Dragonflies and damselflies thus rock, and they are also excellent research organisms!

lördag 1 augusti 2009

From Sweden with love: future CAnMove associate Thomas Gosden receives prestiguous EU-grant

Yesterday, I found out that my former PhD-student Thomas Gosden, who defended his thesis in Lund in May 2008, was awarded a prestigious three-year postdoctoral fellowship from the "Marie Curie"-programme (EU). These highly attractive and competitive postdoctoral grants enable young researchers to move to other research laboratories within the EU or to associated countries, in Tom's case to Australia, where he will spend two years in Steve Chenoweth's research laboratory. After those two years, he will return to Lund and spend the final year of his postdoc here. He will then be associated with CAnMove and hopefully obtain a Junior Researcher position to continue his research on a more long-term basis.

In Australia, Tom will study with the fascinating model organism Drosophila serrata, a fruitfly closely related to the more famous lab-creature Drosophila melanogaster. Work that will be adressed during these years include spatial variation in sexual selection and its relation to various environmental factors (e. g. climate).

For those of you who do not know Tom since before, his thesis-work in my group dealt with similar problems in spatial evolutionary ecology, including issues about sexual conflict and sexual selection using another famous model organism: The common bluetail damselfly (Ischnura elegans). Among the different field experiments that his thesis-work included was the technique of colour powdering males (see picture above!) to track matings in the field and its consequences to female fecundity.

So, what does this have to do with CAnMove and animal movement? Well, one of Tom's goals with this postdoctoral visit in Australia is to develop a collaborative link between Chenoweth's research group and mine, and to bring in new knowledge and new skills back to Lund of the many powerful techniques that evolutionary biologists and ecologists can utilize in the Drosophila-system.

During his final year of his postdoc, Tom will therefore return to Lund with the long-term goal to build up a Drosophila-laboratory. Such a Drosophila-laboratory, when available, might ultimately also be used to adress issues of of more specific interest to CAnMove, such as the evolution of dispersal, flight morphology, movement and locomotion. Drosophila have many advantages as a model system that have made them popular model organisms in evolutionary genetics and medicine in the past. Time is now mature for us "CAnMovians" to also take advantage of these fascinating creatures, to complement our already ongoing projects on other more traditional study organisms, such as birds and damselflies.