Alexandra Anderson, MS Raptor Biology

PhD Candidate, Trent University

 

Photo: Ariel Lenske

Photo: Ariel Lenske

About Allie

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.

Research

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.

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Invertebrate sampling on the intertidal flats of James Bay. Photo: Niahm McHugh.

Invertebrate sampling on the intertidal flats of James Bay. Photo: Niahm McHugh.

Migratory Strategies

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


Research links

An evening of extra bird watching out at high tide, Longridge Point.

An evening of extra bird watching out at high tide, Longridge Point.