Loss of contact: Determining causes of termination of gps-logger data

Loss of contact: Determining causes of termination of gps-logger data

Vacature
Vogeltrekstation (Dutch Centre for Avian Migration and Demography)

Contact Pers:

Droevendaalsesteeg 10
6708 PB Wageningen

The technology used to track birds has advanced greatly over the decades.

Within the NIOO, GPS-loggers have been successfully used to track waterfowl such as the barnacle goose, pink-footed goose and the Bewick’s swan. As these GPS-loggers are also equipped with accelerometers, these trackers have enabled researchers to gain information about movement as well as behaviour during migration. GPS-loggers do not work indefinitely, but often it is not directly clear whether termination of a logger is caused by mortality of the tracked bird (either natural or human-induced) or because of the failure or loss of the GPS-logger. 

The aim of this internship is to 

  1. Investigate whether it is possible to determine the cause of termination of GPS-loggers using GPS and accelerometer data, and 
  2. When mortality is suspected, investigate whether it is possible to determine the cause of mortality based on the available data. Particularly, we want to be able to distinguish natural causes of death from hunting mortality. 

You will work with tracking data from barnacle geese equipped with GPS-loggers in Russia, the Netherlands and Germany. Tracks from >200 birds are available for analyses. Potentially, tracks from other species might be used as well.

This is a computational project, and affinity with data analysis is important. This project does not involve fieldwork, but there are always possibilities to join goose catching operations to get a feeling of how the data are being collected. Prior knowledge of R is preferable. Creative thinking and independence are greatly appreciated. It concerns a MSc internship at the NIOO-KNAW, supervised by PhD candidate Lisenka de Vries

For information contact Lisenka via mail: Lisenka de Vries.