PhD: What’s for dinner? Oceanographic drivers of Manx shearwater chick provisioning and growth
Bangor University Research Profile webpage: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/research-students/ocean-sciences/lauren-evans-644067/en
I studied Ecology at the University of Edinburgh where my honours project focused on the association between European Storm Petrel body mass and a declining principal food source. After my undergraduate degree, I spent a year gaining my BTO C permit for bird ringing as well as surveying rare breeding and migratory birds at North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory, in Unst, Shetland and Skagen Fuglestation in Denmark. I was also lucky enough to join a Cardiff University team pioneering GPS tagging of European Storm Petrels in the Faroe Islands.
Using GPS tracking data and oceanographic models, my PhD research will investigate whether characteristics of physical oceanographic features explain Manx Shearwater foraging depth and effort. I will also determine the diet of Manx Shearwaters using buccal swabbing and eDNA metabarcoding and explore whether meal size and prey species are explained by use of different ocean features. Finally, I aim to quantify the effect of foraging effort and diet composition of chick growth.