Alexandra Anderson, MS Raptor Biology
PhD Candidate, Trent University
Allie Anderson is a PhD candidate at Trent University studying the stopover and migration ecology of shorebirds along the southwestern coast of James Bay. She is supervised by Dr. Erica Nol (Trent University) and Dr. Paul Smith (Environment and Climate Change Canada). Allie is an avian ecologist and researches migratory strategies and their flexibility in response to environmental change. Allie has been involved with the James Bay Shorebird Project since 2014.
Allie’s research in James Bay investigates habitat use, diet, refueling, and migratory strategies of shorebirds using James Bay for stopover. This work uses a variety of field and lab techniques to understand shorebird resource use and behaviour including field surveys, automated radio telemetry through the Motus Wildlife Tracking System, and DNA metabarcoding of faecal samples. Through this work, we will gain a better understanding of shorebird needs and how shorebirds respond to changing conditions in James Bay.
We are examining multiple aspects of shorebird migratory strategies including:
Health and refueling affects on stopover and migration patterns
Predictors of migratory departure
Stopover duration in James Bay and at other sites
Species differences in migratory flexibility
Diet flexibility and habitat use
Through this project we are examining shorebird diet breadth and flexibility and will:
Determine important prey resources
Assess annual variation in prey resources and quantify affects on migratory strategies
Examine the contribution of different habitats to shorebird diets
Compare the southwestern coast of James Bay to other key shorebird stopover sites