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


söndag 22 december 2013

CAnMove Winter Newsletter 2013

One more year has passed with CAnMove activities and it has been a highly active year with extraordinary progress and development. We have now passed the midterm and move on to the final part of the 10-year program. Some of the recent activities are listed below.
1    1)      I wish to welcome Caroline Bolmeson to her new job as a project assistant for CAnMove. She will start her job in January 2014. Caroline will assist in CAnMove administration 40% of full time. Her first day at work is 8 January 2013. We look forward to work with Caroline and welcome her to CAnMove. 
      2)      The CAnMove book “Animal movements across scales” is now sent to the Publisher, at Oxford University Press. It will be printed in late spring 2014. I would like to thank Lars-Anders Hansson for coordinating the book production in the most excellent way, and thanks also to all authors who made the book possible within the stipulated time. The production of the CAnMove book was one of the milestones we set out to achieve within the first half of the program period and I am happy that we have been able to meet the goal as planned. I also hope for many readers among upcoming PhD course participants.    
      3)      This year’s PhD course on “The Ecology of Animal Migration” was a true success with 35 participating students. The course was excellently coordinated by Rachel Muheim, Anders Hedenström, Tom Evans and Christina Rengefors with helpers, and was much appreciated by participants, visiting lecturers and in house participants. Thank you all for your great work! 
      4)      The latest workshop on “Dispersal” was also excellently coordinated by Sylvie Tesson, Karin Rengefors and Katarina Hedlund welcomed some 50+ participants to gather in Lund and discuss the progress of this topic. The most recent ideas and future perspectives are summarized in upcoming publications as a result of the workshop. In line of several workshops held at CAnMove the one on dispersal has contributed to make CAnMove a melting pot where research ideas and progress of animal movement are discussed involving members and international expertise.  Well done!
      5)      I am very grateful to Helena Westerdahl for all her work for CAnMove in the steering committee and I wish her best of luck with her new job coordinating the research school GENECO. Maren Wellenreuther has taken on the new position in the steering committee and will continue to be a member in the new Board which has been formed and will start the work in January 2014. The CAnMove Board consists of Susanne Åkesson (head), Staffan Bensch, Lars-Anders Hansson, Dennis Hasselquist (new member), Anders Hedenström, Maren Wellenreuther, and Kaj Hultén (PhD representative). Cecilia Nilsson is serving as the substitute PhD student representative in the Board. I am looking forward to work with the new board for future development of the program.
      6)      Helena Osvath is updating our home page and there are currently several new projects which have been published. Please, make sure that your projects are updated, and contact Helena for new presentations or if you wish to modify old presentations. The aim is to get the English version of the home page updated first and to translate all texts into Swedish as a second step.
      7)      You may present your recent research findings at the CAnMove blog. Blog posts are most welcome, and to facilitate use you may contact Helena Osvath to be able to join the group of bloggers. However, if you need help to publish your blog, please contact Helena or Christina and they will assist.
      8)       The technical development of novel microdataloggers is proceeding as planned and the CAnMove database is now taking form. There will be update meetings and invitations for closer interactions with members of CAnMove the coming half year to facilitate progress. Please, support Johan Bäckman, Arne Andersson, and Mats Svensson in their work to make this possible when requested.
      9)      The 28 January 2014 the VR evaluation committee will have a site visit at CAnMove and the initial part of January will be dedicated to prepare this site visit, involving members of CAnMove. More information will be sent out in January.
      Last but not least I would like to thank all CAnMove personnel for their dedicated, excellent and most appreciated work for CAnMove in 2013. I also wish to acknowledge all members of CAnMove for making our Research Centre such a creative and inspiring place to interact and work. I hope there will be many exciting scientific discoveries to come in 2014!
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

fredag 6 december 2013

Antalet fåglar minskar i fjällen

I en gemensam studie har forskare från Sverige, Finland och Norge analyserat fågelövervakningsdata för åren 2002–2012. Studien visar på en storskalig minskning av fåglar över hela den Skandinaviska fjällkedjan. Hela 9 av de 14 vanligaste fågelarterna som häckar där har minskat i antal under 2000-talet. Ingen av de studerade arterna har ökat i antal.
Utvecklingen är liknande i alla tre länderna, med störst minskning i Norge där 8 av 10 fågelarter minskat i antal. I Sverige minskade 8 av 13 arter samtidigt som ingen fågelart ökade. Studien visar dessutom att populationstrenderna inte skiljer sig åt för arter som finns i fjällbjörksskogen respektive på kalfjället. Sämst har det gått för dalripa och fjällripa, som båda minskade med cirka 75 procent under perioden. Resultaten är unika även på internationell nivå, eftersom det inte finns några tidigare studier som omfattar flera fågelarter inom en hel bergskedja.

– Även om enstaka arter tidigare har visat en liknande populationsminskning och återhämtat sig, så är det första gången som vi kan se att så många arter har minskat över hela fjällkedjan. Resultaten är därför mycket oroande, säger Åke Lindström, professor vid Biologiska institutionen, Lunds universitet och koordinator för Svensk Fågeltaxering.

Orsakerna till minskningarna är inte säkerställda men det är troligt att det finns en koppling till ökande temperaturer som orsakas av ett ändrat klimat. Prognoser för hur fjällfåglarna kommer att påverkas av ett varmare klimat visar att arternas utbredningsområden i framtiden kommer att förflyttas i riktning mot fjälltopparna, vilket bör leda till minskande populationer. Under tidsperioden för den här studien, 2002-2012, var somrarna i genomsnitt 1 grad varmare och betydligt blötare jämfört med tidigare årtionden.

– Bofasta eller kortflyttande fågelarter som tillbringar mycket tid i fjällen har minskat mer än långflyttande arter som endast är i häckningsområdet en kort tid på sommaren. Det pekar på att minskningen av antalet fåglar huvudsakligen beror på förändringar i fjällen, säger Åke Lindström.

I studien ingick mer än 260 inventeringsrutter, utbredda över en sträcka av 1600 km från sydvästra till nordöstra delen av den Skandinaviska fjällkedjan. Fåglarna har räknats av flera hundra frivilliga fågelskådare från Sverige, Finland och Norge. Den svenska partnern i projektet är Svensk Fågeltaxering, som koordineras av Lunds universitet på uppdrag av Naturvårdsverket och landets länsstyrelser.

Undersökningen är publicerad i den internationella tidskriften "Journal of Avian Biology".

För mer information:
Åke Lindström, 070-6975 931 eller Ake.Lindstrom@biol.lu.se,
Martin Green, 070-8134975 eller
Martin.Green @biol.lu.se


onsdag 20 november 2013

Multiple leading edge vortices of unexpected strength in freely flying hawkmoth

Composite image of a representative vector field, color coded by vorticity, showing the complex leading edge vortex above the wing on top of a photo of a Hummingbird hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum).
The first study of the flow above the wings of a freely flying insect, showing the structure of the lift boosting leading edge vortex, is published today by the Animal Flight Lab in Scientific Reports. The leading edge vortex is generally seen as a stable vortex, attached to the top surface of the wing, but this new study finds it to have a complex structure. At the inner wing the vortex has a single core, but mid wing and outwards the vortex is highly variable with multiple simultaneous cores. The highly variable flow may affect the aerodynamic control of the moth. In addition to the high complexity, the circulation of the vortex on the outer part of the wing is higher than the circulation measured in the wake behind the animal. This implies that the vortex accounts for the entire lift production at the outer wing and is in fact stronger than is necessary to generate the required lift force, which suggests a high aerodynamic cost of flight in the moths. These new findings will serve as a baseline comparison for past and future studies of the aerodynamics of insect flight based on tethered animals and mechanical flappers.

/Christoffer Johansson Westheim

onsdag 13 november 2013

Joint forces to monitor animal movement through the aerosphere

Researchers from across Europe and a wide range of expertise – including ecology, biogeography, ornithology, entomology, meteorology, mathematics and engineering – now join forces in the field of aeroecology to foster continental-scale remote sensing of animal migration for the first time.
The research network is named ENRAM (“the European Network for the Radar surveillance of Animal Movement’) and currently involves scientists from 15 countries. Sweden and CAnMove are represented in the Management Committee by Professor Susanne Åkesson and Associate Professor Lars Pettersson with Drs Johan Bäckman and Markus Franzén as deputies. The collaboration will run for four years and is funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology), one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and researchers across Europe.
The background to the project is that the aerial movement of billions of organisms through Europe each spring and autumn brings enormous benefits in terms of ecosystem services, but also poses great risks through air-traffic collisions, invasions of crop pests and spread of disease. Mass movements through the aerosphere are detected by weather radar measurements and have a severe impact on the accuracy of weather radar products. Therefore meteorologists and hydrologists need to be able to recognise and filter these biological echoes. At the same time, weather radar data have the potential of providing detailed information on the intensity, timing, altitude and spatial scale of mass movements of a broad range of taxa that move through the aerosphere.
The ideal platform to carry out standardized continent-wide monitoring of aerial movements is the existing Europe-wide network of weather radars, which in principal is already sensing these biological targets. The principal goal of the ENRAM network is to establish international and interdisciplinary collaboration needed to achieve coordinated monitoring of animal movements through the aerosphere over the European continent.
//Lars Pettersson

fredag 8 november 2013

News from NanoLab

Yesterday the new method paper by Ekvall et al. covering the nano-labelling and tracking of small aquatic organisms is published online in PLOS ONE. The paper is entitled “Three-dimensional tracking of small aquatic organisms using fluorescent nanoparticles” and covers the labelling using poly-L-lysine coated nanoparticles (quantum dots) as well as the video- and tracking system.  In the paper we combine biology, chemistry and physics and, by doing this, present a method that allows three-dimensional (3D) tracking of individual mm-sized aquatic organisms. The method is based on in-vivo labelling of the organisms with fluorescent nanoparticles, so-called quantum dots, and tracking of the organisms in 3D via the quantum-dot fluorescence using a synchronized multiple camera system. It allows for the efficient and simultaneous study of the behaviour of one as well as multiple individuals in large volumes of observation, thus enabling the study of behavioural interactions at the community scale. The method is non-perturbing – we demonstrate that the labelling is not affecting the behavioural response of the organisms – and is applicable over a wide range of taxa, including cladocerans as well as insects, suggesting that our methodological concept opens up for new research fields on individual behaviour of small animals. Hence, this offers opportunities to focus on important biological, ecological and behavioural questions never before possible to address. For the full version of the exciting paper - visit this link:

If you have not yet seen the NanoLAB descriptive YouTube video I recommend you to visit this link and have a look at how the labelling and system works!

/The NanoLab Team – Mikael, Giuseppe, Johan B and Lars-Anders

måndag 4 november 2013

Ecology of Animal Migration course 2013

 On Friday 35 students studying in 13 different countries (and more nationalities!) completed the two-week CAnMove organised 'Ecology of Animal Migration Course'.
The course began with students giving short presentations of their own work. It was fantastic to see the diversity of topics covered, and the great enthusiasm for studies of animal migration!
Students then attended lectures and classes on many different topics including genetics of migration, conservation, locomotion, and many more. We were very happy to welcome back to Lund guest lecturers; Jason Chapman,  Colin Pennycuick, John McNamara, Thord Fransson, Raymond Klaassen, Miriam Liedvogel, Tim Guilford, Theunis Piersma, and Brendan Godley. Plus three new faces, Navinder Singh, Wolfgang Goymann, and Sonia Altizer, with Sonia making the first 'virtual' appearance, giving her lecture very effectively by video link.

It wasn't all in the lecture theatre though, with students enjoying excursions to Falsterbo bird observatory, and the University field station at Stensoffa. Plus Colin Pennycuick gave his very popular flight lab.
Thursday saw the course dinner, where we enjoyed a buffet at Finn Inn, followed by most of us walking down to 'Café Ariman', adopted as the course bar!
Thanks to the course organisers and others assisting with the course (including coffee making!); Rachel Muheim, Anders Hedenström, Christina Rengefors, Nataliia Kulatska, Helena Osvath, Cecilia Nilsson, Kozue Shiomi, Yannis Vardanis, Mihaela Ilieva, and Marco Klein Heerenbrink.

//Tom Evans

VR grants

Today the Swedish Research Council announces the grants from 2013:s call. Congratulations to Staffan Bensch, Dennis Hasselqvist, Per Henningsson, Christoffer Johansson, Jan-Åke Nilsson and Susanne Åkesson who all got new funding! To VRs web site.

söndag 27 oktober 2013

The long-distance migration of the great reed warbler uncovered

In a new study published in PLoS One, CAnMove researchers used geolocators to reveal the annual migration cycle of the great reed warbler – a long-distant migrant that breeds in Europe and Asia and spends the winter in tropical Africa. The birds in focus in the present study were breeding at Lake Kvismaren, close to Örebro in southern Central Sweden, where their breeding ecology are followed every year. However, their whereabouts outside the breeding season have been largely unknown – until now. The geolocator data showed that the great reed warblers were leaving Sweden in early August heading south to stopover sites in central/SE Europe where they stayed several weeks. They then flew rapidly over the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert using a relatively narrow geographical corridor to their wintering grounds in West Africa. Once in sub-Saharan Africa, the birds dispersed over an extensive wintering area – from Guinea in the west to the NW parts of the Congo Basin in the east. They stayed in Africa for more than 6 months, which is twice the time spent in Sweden during the breeding season. On their northward journey back to Sweden they cut the time spent on stopovers, which made the spring migration on average faster than the autumn migration. The birds kept high migration speeds in spring, independently of when they departed from Africa, which indicates that they used a time-minimisation strategy to arrive as early as possible at the Swedish breeding site. This strategy can very well pay off, since early arrival to the breeding grounds is tightly associated with mating opportunities and reproductive success in great reed warblers.

onsdag 23 oktober 2013

Dispersal in a changing world

During spring 2013, CAnMove and BECC co-hosted a symposium on the causes and consequences of dispersal with almost 100 participants from all over the world. As one of the outcomes of the symposium, our former post doc Sylvie Tesson together with Pim Edelaar now presents an overview of the talks in Movement Ecology: Dispersal in a changing world: opportunities, insights and challenges. Movement Ecology.

tisdag 22 oktober 2013

A new approach to evaluate multimodal orientation behaviour

Circular cages, so-called Emlen-funnels, have extensively been applied to study compass orientation and ecological causes of differential orientation in songbirds. The method was developed already in 1966 by Emlen and Emlen and has been applied, for instance, in describing the functional characteristics of the biological compasses used by songbirds. For several decades the circular cage approach has been appreciated, but it has become clear that it suffers from statistical limitations in evaluating the directions of the activity recorded in the cages. The migratory activity has been reported to vary, including complex multimodal orientation of migratory passerines tested in orientation cages irrespective of species studied. A substantial drawback of the currently applied circular statistical methods is that they fail to describe orientation responses differing from unimodal and axial distributions. In a recent paper by Ożarowska et al. (2013) published in Journal of Experimental Biology, we propose a modelling procedure enabling the analysis of multimodal distributions at either an individual or a group level. We have been able to compare the results of conventional methods and the novel modelling approach. Reasons behind developing an alternative method to evaluate orientation cage data is that migratory routes may be more complex than a simple migratory direction, and multimodal behaviour in migratory species at the individual and population levels can be advantageous. For instance, individuals may select the expected migratory direction, but may also return to safer sites en route, i.e. sites already known, which provide food and/or shelter in reverse directions. In individual birds, several directions may be expressed in the same test hour when recorded in the circular cages. At the species level, multimodal orientation may give an opportunity to expand the range or may refer to differential migration route preferences in different populations of birds. A conflicting experimental situation may also result in a different preferential orientation. In this paper we suggest a statistical solution to deal with these types of variations in orientation preference.
Photo: Susanne Åkesson

fredag 18 oktober 2013

New insights in little ringed plover migration!

Research on bird migration lives in a revolution. Thanks to the rapid development of technology smaller and smaller species can be tracked by means of geolocation.  In a new study from CAnMove scientists (Anders Hedenström et al) the hitherto unknown migration of the little ringed plover has been uncoverd. Little ringed plovers breed in gravel pits and inland freshwater habitats (often man-made). By attaching geoplocators, which register the ambient light, to a small number of plovers the migration routes and wintering sites could be detrmined in 6 individuals, and for one individual during two migrations. The plovers initially migrated towards SE, during the autumn and then several changed direction to SW to end up at wintering sites in Africa (from Nigeria in the west to Egypt in the east). However, one of the plovers migrated to India. That individuals from the same local population migrate to such widely separated localitoes as Nigeria and India is new to the scientists. Spring migratiom was more direct and rapid than autumn migration. We now plan to follow up on these results and try to unravel how migration routes are determined in juvenile plovers.  

Vacant position within CAnMove!

CAnMove is looking for a part-time (40%) project assistant/coordinator who will function as a support to the programme coordinator. This person has to be a PhD holder with subject expertise in biology, as well as a good command of written and spoken English.

Are you interested or now anyone that might be?
Read more in English.
Read more in Swedish.

måndag 7 oktober 2013

CAnMove Newsletter Autumn 2013

CAnMove Newsletter Autumn 2013

I wish to welcome all CAnMove members back from holidays and field work and to join upcoming activities within the CAnMove program this semester. The are many exciting seminars and meetings to attend, but also the international PhD student course on Ecology of Animal Movement to which many international experts are invited and will give talks. I strongly recommend you to attend to a number of talks during the course as they are open for all interested. The program is available at the CAnMove web-site.

We will start with activities directed to PhD students and postdocs, and one event twice per year will be to join The Directors Tea, at which information on decision processes, program activities and research news will be communicated, but also the PhDs and Postdocs will be able to discuss issues of interest with the Director. The first Directors Tea will take place 16 October at 14.00h in the conference room opposite to the Library entrance at first floor.

We have recently submitted the half-time evaluation report for the CAnMove program to the Swedish Research Council, covering scientific progress, activities, budget, members, publications and equality work etc. It has been a major achievement to coordinate and condense all information, and I am very grateful to all who helped with this major effort. Thank you! It has also been exciting work as it became clear how much we have been able to achieve during the first five years of the program. For instance, eight workhops, several CAnMove conferences, and seminars, but also major steps forward in terms of technical development and applications of new technology, new research projects have been developed and young scientists have been recruited to the program. This all excellent news and progress! I hope this knowledge will stimulate to further initiatives and actions within the program and to development of new collaborative research projects. The number of members has grown to nearly 70 in total and 18 Principal investigators, which is showing increased interest for CAnMove. CAnMove members further show an impressively high impact on the society by almost 1000 (!) media hits in national and international Web, and national newspapers (not including international newspapers) since the program start! This fantastic progress merits further blogs to be written and communication of research news!

The evaluation panel consisting of a number of internationally acknowledged scientists will visit Lund University and CAnMove 27-28 January 2014. At this event you will be invited and several members will present achievements. In June 2014 we will receive the evaluation report of our program and decision on continued financial support for the last five years.

The work on the CAnMove book has proceeded with full action this summer and autumn, and will soon enter its final form. Many thanks to PI Lars-Anders Hansson for leading this work with his experienced hand!

We are currently in the process of changing the management of CAnMove from a Steering committee to a Board (Styrelse), with a larger number of members (from 5 to 7). More information on this process will follow later.

As the program and activities has grown, and the project administrators (Helena Osvath 20%, and Christina Rengefors 40%) are working in total 60% CAnMove is looking for a manager, with PhD and education within biology. The position as a program administrator/project assistant is intended to start during late 2013, and we welcome spread of news as well as applicants to ask for this position.  


Director CAnMove, Susanne Åkesson

onsdag 2 oktober 2013

PHD Scholarship in Bird Movement

PHD Scholarship in Bird Movement


A three-year PhD studentship is available at the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. The Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate (CMEC; www.macroecology.ku.dk) is an integrated terrestrial and marine research program addressing fundamental questions on the origin, maintenance, conservation and future of life and biological diversity on Earth.


The position is part of the project, MATCH: Migration in a changing world (www.zmuc.dk/VerWeb/STAFF/kthorup/kt/MATCH/MATCH.htm ), using satellite-based radio tracking to understand how small, long-distance migrants ensure arrival to suitable winter and stopover grounds at the appropriate time of the year.


We seek a bird migration biologist to work on questions related to control of bird migration. We are particular interested in understanding migration patterns and how mostly long-distance migratory birds track changing seasonal conditions, focusing on the control of individual migrations and the possible influence on the seasonal distribution of birds, including potential effects of climate change on future migration patterns. The research programme will include tracking migrating birds using state-of-the-art tracking techniques and assisting in developing and testing newly developed tracking equipment.


Qualifications and specific competences:

Applicants must have a relevant master’s degree or equivalent in ecology or related field. The student should have a background of natural history with excellent skills within the study of migratory animals. Extensive field work experience and experience in tracking of individual animals is required. The student should be able to carry out field work independently, preferably with own ringing license. Experience with computer modeling, GIS and statistical packages is expected.


Excellent English speaking, reading and writing skills are required.


Principal place of employment and place of work:

Natural History Museum of Denmark, Universitetsparken 15, 2100 Copenhagen.


The application must contain:

  • A cover letter
  • Curriculum vitae (incl. the applicant’s email address)
  • List of publications
  • Motivation for applying potentially including suggestions for research to be carried out as part of the research programme (0.5 A4-page)
  • Transcript of university examinations (in English)
  • Copy of a ringing permit or documentation of bird handling experience
  • Names and contact details of 3 persons for references


For further information please contact Dr Kasper Thorup (kthorup@snm.ku.dk)


Applications will be evaluated by an assessment committee. The applicant will be notified of the composition of the committee. Each applicant will receive the part of the evaluation that concerns her/him. The main criterion for selection will be the research potential of the applicant. In addition experience with the above mentioned methods would be an advantage.


Salary and terms of employment

The successful applicant will be hired as a PhD student at the Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen for a three year period. Information on the PhD programs at the Faculty of Science can be found at http://www.science.ku.dk/phd/


Terms of appointment and payment according with the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Federation of Professional Associations (AC).


The University of Copenhagen wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


Applications must be received through the job portal of the University of Copenhagen at http://www.ku.dk/english/available_positions/vip/. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.

The expected starting date is 1 January 2014.

Deadline for applications is 15 October 2013.
Publisher: Faculty of Science

onsdag 11 september 2013

Welcome to CAnMove breakfast

Welcome to CAnMove breakfast that will take Place on Friday 13th September, in fikarummet on the second floor at 08:30.
Celebration of the submission of the half-time evaluation report to the Swedish Research Council will take place. You are all most welcome!

fredag 6 september 2013

New paper on immunity in blue tits

MHC molecules are known to be central in adaptive immunity, and studies on parasite resistance and MHC in wild animals have found effects on both infection intensity (parasite load) and infection status (infected or not). In a recent study by Helena Westerdahl et al these two aspects were considered simultaneously with a frequent avian malaria infection in a natural population of blue tits - showing that blue tits that carry a specific MHC allele seem able to suppress the malaria infection intensity, while there was no evidence that this allele also had an effect on clearance of the malaria infection.

The study,  “MHC-I affects infection intensity but not infection status with a frequent avian malaria parasite in blue tits” is available online in  PLOS ONE.

torsdag 5 september 2013

LUMBO arrives to roof platform

The new CAnMove infrastructure LUMBO (Lund University Mobile Biosphere Observatory) designed for tracking insects and birds arrived to the Ecology Building today, where it is now installed at the roof platform.  The realization of the instrumentation is a concerted effort between physicists at LCC and Computer Control at Lund University and CAnMove biologists. Careful cranehandling facilitated placement on the roof where we assisted with logistics to set the new instrument in place. During summer LUMBO has been allocated to several research projects focusing on insects. Now it is time to develop the possibilities for remote sensing and tracking of birds.


Photo: Susanne Åkesson. Experienced driver Pelle from Akka frakt handled
the crane and LUMBO with care and precision.

tisdag 3 september 2013

Time to celebrate!

CAnMove has now submitted the half-time evaluaiton report to the Swedish Research Council for evaluation by the expert panel. The process of preparing the report has been very educational and we find great progress and high activity in this very dynamic research environment! I wish to express my gratitude to all personnel and scientists helping with the report writing, but also to all members who during the first five years have contributed to CAnMove by creating a highly dynamic and productive research environment. I hope to see continued high research output, but also new instrumentation and technology as well as the new database in use over the next years to come. Soon we also hope to see a text book on Animal Movement Across Scales on the shelfs in many research labs around the world. Keep animal movement research going!
Susanne Åkesson
Director CAnMove
PS. Celebration of the report submission will take place during the upcomign CAnMOve breakfast. You are All most Welcome!

måndag 5 augusti 2013

Swifts and swallows on the news

This weekend one of the Swedish National TV shows visited Susanne Åkesson and Anders Hedenström during their fieldwork on swifts and swallows on Öland. See the clip from "Rapport" (starting 16.00).

tisdag 30 juli 2013

Sydsvenskan about insect research!

Today Sydsvenskan reports on some of the CAnMove releated insect research going on at the moment. Read more about Mikkel, Maren and Lumbo!

söndag 14 juli 2013

New paper on 3D tracking!

(A) Picture of the stereo vision system, composed by two cameras (Cam1 and Cam2) that overlook the entire aquarium from different angles. (B) Air-cooled blue-light lamp used to excite the red and yellow fluorescent nanoparticles. (C) Schematic top view of the system with cameras positioned 90° from each other.
Computer vision applications are very useful to study animal movements, but due to their intrinsic complexity they are challenging to design, implement, and use properly.  In our new paper (see http://aslo.org/lomethods/free/2013/0278.html) we describe a laboratory system for tracking zooplankton in 3D. We demonstrate the crucial importance of using a correct calibration for proper interpretation of animal swimming behaviour and why 2D tracks are unable to give complete information on Daphnia movement performance.

This new system is currently used to investigate how zooplankton deal under multiple risks – such as UV radiation and predation – and how individual difference in behavioural responses might affect the functioning of aquatic ecosystems. More to come soon…

/Giuseppe et al.

torsdag 27 juni 2013

New paper on flight speeds of birds

When we wish to calculate how far a bird can migrate given a certain fuel load, or how fast a bird is expected to fly in a specific context (such as display, foraging or migratory flight), we often make use of flight mechanical theory. The backbone of this theory is the U-shaped relationship between power required to fly and the flight speed through the air (airspeed). The theory was developed/adapted for bird flight more than 40 years ago by the English scientist Colin Pennycuick. Over the years Colin has amended the theory by various experiments and measurements, often involving wind tunnels. Accurate predictions from this theory rely on a number of parameters that describe the aerodynamic properties of the avian body and the wings. Some of these parameters, the induced drag factor and the body drag coefficient, have now been explored in the light of new measurements of flight speeds using an ornithodolite. It turns out that birds are probably more efficient in generating the lift than previously assumed, and also that the body drag coefficient (describing how much drag the body is generating) may vary among species. 

The fieldwork for this study was carried out last autumn by CAnMove scientists together with Colin Pennycuick, who is at Bristol University, using a new ornithodolite consisting of a Vector range finder (a pairs of binoculars with a laser range finder), an anemometer for wind measurements and a computer for data recording. The fieldwork was carried out on the south east coast of Öland during the autumn migration period in 2012, where large numbers of a variety of species migrated. The paper is published in the Journal of Royal Society Interface, and is open access.

/Anders Hedenström 

torsdag 20 juni 2013

A foraging cost to migration in fish

Migration is a phenomenally widespread behaviour in the animal kingdom. Yet even for migratory species it is very common that not all individuals migrate within a population (“partial migration”). What maintains these two very different strategies (migrant and resident) in animal populations is still largely a mystery, although recent work into partially migratory freshwater fish (the roach) has shed some light on this fascinating problem.

Roach migrate out of lakes in the winter into streams, returning in the spring. Or at least some of them do, whilst others remain resident the whole year round in the lake. A recent study showed that this migration may function as an antipredator behaviour, with predation from voracious piscivorous birds (cormorants) being significantly lower in the streams compared to the lake during winter (see here). So if the benefits of migration are so great, why don’t they all do it?

One reason might be that migration can be costly. Roach migrate into streams that are most likely food poor environments compared with the lake. In our study, published in PLoS One (see here), we test this idea, and quantify a foraging cost to migration in the roach. By assaying the gut contents of both migratory and resident roach in Lake Søgård in Denmark throughout the migratory season (in collaboration with our buddies at the Danish Technical University), we found that migrants had less food in their guts and also lower quality food items. Hence our data supports the idea that migration involves ecological trade-offs between predation and energy acquisition (the p/g model).

The next puzzle is to ask why certain individuals adopt a migratory or resident strategy. In fitness terms, are these strategies equivalent? Is the behaviour genetically fixed or phenotypically plastic? We will keep you posted…


//Ben et al.

tisdag 18 juni 2013

Congratulations Rachel!

Zebra finch
CAnMove PI Rachel Muheim received 1.2 million SEK from The Crafoord Foundation for her research on the behavioural, physiological and neuroanatomical mechanisms of magnetic compass orientation and polarized light sensitivity in birds.

We are very happy for her success and wish her good luck with her research project!

torsdag 13 juni 2013

CAnMove database progress

Tracking radar on the Ecology House, Lunds University
The first building block of the CAnMove database is ready. It comes in the shape of the table definitions for tracking radar data and routines for population of the database. While there will be a core of tables in common for all kinds of data sets, several of them will in addition have their own set of tables tailored to their specific needs. Two data sets with tracking radar data has also been successfully loaded into the database in a test environment. The next step will be to take a look at satellite telemetry data.

If you have any questions or comments you’re welcome to contact me!

Mats Svensson

måndag 10 juni 2013

Congratulations Maren!

Some weeks ago the Faculty Newsletter highlighted that Maren Wellenreuther was granted a prize from the Konung Carl XVI Gustafs 50-årsfond för vetenskap, teknik och miljö. Congratulations Maren! Read her account of the award ceremony at the Royal palace in Stockolm:
When the Swedish King Karl Gustaf turned 50 years he created the ‘Konung Carl XVI Gustafs 50-årsfond för vetenskap, teknik och miljö’. The Foundations purpose is to promote research, technological development and entrepreneurship, which contribute to the sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity conservation. Every year since then, between 15-20 young scientists receive this award for their scientific accomplishments and are invited to meet the King at his Royal Palace in Stockholm. I was one of the 16 receivers of the award in 2013 and travelled to Stockholm on the 27th of May to receive my award certificate, money and to shake the hands of the King. We were all greeted by the secretary of the foundation, were seated alphabetically and then got a short lecture about etiquette. We learned to address the King as ‘your majesty’ or ‘your excellence’ and to not turn our backs to the king.
Then the king arrived and we all stood up to greet him. The secretary called our name alphabetical order, and read out a summary of our scientific achievements and how much money was awarded to us. We had to stand up during the 3-4 minutes that it took for the secretary to give all the details. 
The 16 receivers of the 2013 award are seated alphabetically in the front row.
Once all awardees were introduced, the king addresses us and said (among other things): "Ni jobbar med viktiga frågor som kan göra skillnad i framtiden. Stipendiet är en uppmuntran att fortsätta ert fantastiska arbete." 
Me and Karl, at the Bernadotte Library at the Royal Palace.
As scientists, it is not every day that our science is honoured in a special way, and so it was nice to feel special for once. Then we got to shake the hand of the King and received our certificate and cheque.

Once we had all received our awards, the royal guest professor Nancy Langston from Wisconsin, who spent the last 9 month at Umeå University, gave a guest lecture entitled "Toxic fish - a history". Professor Nancy Langston is a leader in the international emerging field of environmental history. Afterwards, we all got to mingle with a glass of champagne which gave us the opportunity to get to know the other awardees. 

I took the train back home after the ceremony and felt exhausted but happy. I am glad I went to Stockholm and got to experience this.