South African guests at BMRS
Our Station hosted Prof. Les Underhill and Ms Megan Loftie-Eaton in August 2017. Both are from the Animal Demography Unit at the University of Cape Town. Apart from intensive sessions spent on the statistical analysis of our long-term datasets on birds migrating between our hemispheres, our guests took brief respites to enjoy Poland’s lush landscape and its traditional cuisine. Ms Jacqui Badenhorst, a PhD student co-supervised by Prof. Underhill and Dr Remisiewicz, has stayed on to to study Polish birds in the field and in front of a computer screen. We are looking forward to welcome back Dr Marc Burman, who returns in September for a three-month post-doc to support us with his statistical expertise and to co-author papers.
Poland and South Africa have a research cooperation agreement, managed in South Africa by the National Research Foundation (NRF) and in Poland by the Narodowe Centrum Badań i Rozwoju (NCBR) (National Centre for Research and Development). The Bird Migration Research Station at the University of Gdańsk and the Animal Demography Unit at UCT are in the middle year of a three-year project supported through this research agreement. The funding associated with this project is for „mobility”, i.e. visits in both directions. The Polish team, under the leadership of Dr Magda Remisiewicz, does fieldwork on migratory species, such as Willow Warblers, Red-backed Shrikes, Spotted Flycatchers, in Poland at Operation Baltics’ field station, and in South Africa at study sites such as the Barberspan Bird Sanctuary in North West Province. From the South African side, our input relates mainly to statistical analysis. There is a growing group of postgraduate students with co-supervision from both universities. All their projects have a substantial citizen science component, looking particularly at the long-term data sets gathered by bird ringers in both countries and by atlasers in South Africa.