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


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