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Inês Catry

Inês Catry

Auxiliary Researcher

Auxiliary Researcher
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I am an ecologist mainly interested in understanding how global environmental changes can impact the breeding biology, migratory behaviour, habitat quality and population dynamics of birds. My current work focuses on three main research lines:

1. Ecology and evolution of migratory behaviour. Anthropogenic changes are shifting the migration patterns of birds worldwide: species are changing the migration departure and arrival timing, shortening and diversifying migratory routes, or are even completely disrupting migration and transitioning towards residency. My research focuses on tackling the mechanisms that shape bird migratory decisions (and when they arise during ontogeny) and assess the extent to which migrants can cope with current rates of environmental change, both in the short term and across generations. Using GPS-tracking devices combined with 3D-accelerometers it is possible to monitor individuals throughout their annual and life cycles and determine their movement patterns, time-budgets, and energy expenditure, quantifying the life-long costs, benefits, and fitness consequences of different migratory strategies. 

2. Ecology and conservation of steppe-land birds. Because of different agricultural policies, cereal steppe habitat is rapidly changing, and many steppe birds have suffered a global reduction in range and numbers. I coordinate a long-term research study (> 20 years) on the ecology and behaviour of steppe-birds, with important contributions in predicting the response of species populations to the most future likely scenarios of agriculture intensification and land abandonment.

3. Climate change and conservation adaptation. Adaptation to climate change has become a crucial element on the climate change policy agenda. The ecological impacts and costs of climate warming are not fully understood, and I am interested in understanding how climate change will affect bird species’ behaviour, distribution and population dynamics as well as evaluating birds’ plasticity to adapt to climate change.

I address these questions by combining standard field methods (monitoring, ringing) and new approaches (GPS loggers, geolocators, stable isotopes). My model species include the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni), the European Roller (Coracias garrulus), the White-Stork (Ciconia ciconia), the Black-Stork (Ciconia nigra) and the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax). The ultimate goal of my research aims at improving the delivery of effective conservation measures for the targeted species.

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