News & Events

Here you can find some recent news and events, as well as a selection of recent papers and any new members that have joined the EGI.

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Bird Ringing Demonstration at Farmoor Res Oxon, 25th February 2012

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Most Recent Research Highlights

» Birds migrate to save energyMay 9, 2018

Marius Somveille migration picBirds migrate in order to optimise the balance between their energy intake and expenditure, finds a paper published online this week in Nature Ecology & Evolution. EGI postdoctoral researcher Marius Somveille and his collaborators from Cambridge and Montpellier, found that this rule also applies to non-migratory species, and provides a general explanation for the global distribution of all birds.

Around 15% of the world’s bird species migrate between breeding and non-breeding habitats, allowing them, for example, to escape food shortages and unfavourable weather during winter months. However, identifying driving factors that are common to the movement of all migratory and non-migratory species has not been possible until now.   Marius Somveille and colleagues designed a model that simulates a ‘virtual world’ in which birds distribute in an optimal fashion with regards to energy. The outputs of this model match very well the true (i.e. empirical) seasonal distribution patterns of birds, in contrast to the outputs of other ‘virtual worlds’ in which species do not optimise their annual energy balance. These results provide strong support for the important role of energy efficiency in determining the way birds distribute on the planet. The authors also suggest that the model is general enough to be applicable to other highly mobile animals such as fish and whales. Link to the paper here.


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We invite applications from potential candidates interested in any of the following areas:(1) Social Behaviour & Ecology of Wild Populations; (2) Evolutionary Ecology of Reproduction in Variable Environments: (3) Evolution and Genetics of Quantitative Trait Variation.  For further information and details on how to apply, please click here.