BIO-LOGGING AND BEHAVIOURAL ECOLOGY

KEY WORDS

Eco-physiology / Ecology / Behaviour / Foraging efficiency / Feeding activity / Predator-prey interactions / Hunting strategies / Time-budget / Seabirds / Marine mammals.

My research activity is focused on reconstructing the activity, especially feeding and foraging behaviour of top-predators (marine & terrestrials), using a bio-logging approach (Ropert-Coudert & Wilson 2005 ). My main "weapons" are GPS and accelerometers to determine activity, as well as ECG recorders to measure effort or jaw movement recorders to measure the feeding activity. I regularly test new bio-logging tools and methodologies.


MODELS

During my PhD and subsequent works, I investigated the feeding behaviour and foraging activity of free-ranging penguins in sub-Antarctic and Antarctic territories. From 2001, I enlarged my models to several seabird species from temparate zones: mainly gannets and boobies (South Africa, UK, tropical islands, Australia), cormorants (Greenland), and little penguins (Australia). These latter are monitored in collaboration with A,. Chiaradia at Phillip Island Nature Park since 2004. Another long-term monitoring started in 2007 at Coats Island in Canada on Brünnich guillemots with A. Gaston. Finally, starting in 2010 I also collaborate with Spanish colleagues on at-sea activity of puffins in the Mediterranean sea.
I sometimes move on to terrestrial species for short-term projects mainly dealing with impact of tourism (koalas) effort displayed during specific activily like flight (vultures) or behavioural determinants of infection (mandrills).


QUESTIONS

How does individual quality help predators facing environmental changes? Starting in 2008, I focused on the age and experience component of individual quality. To address this question I use a dual approach where the breeding activity of a population is measured via automatic identification systems (AIS) so that the age, sex and the whereabouts of each individual is known + the foraging efficiency of individuals is measured via bio-logging systems (see above). I am especially interested in studying the way animals organize their foraging time to optimize energy gains, how they allocate resources between survival and reproduction and optimize their breeding success. I am now moving onto new components of what can define individual quality, i.e. telomere size (collaboration with F. Criscuolo) and hormonal processes (collaboration with T. Raclot). In parallel and in collaboration with A. MacIntosh at Kyoto University, I examine the patterns of complexity of diving behaviour as a way to distinguish performant from non performant individuals.


PROJECTS

I am currently engaged into 23 research projects with colleagues from all over the world. Among these:
1- At-sea activity monitoring of little penguins in Phillip Island (using AIS and bio-logging, cf above).
2- Plasticity of the foraging strategies of Sulidae throughout their distribution (how birds with similar foraging tactics and body shape adapt to different environments?). Project with 5 institutions in 4 countries.
3- Influence of breeding and foraging experience on the behavioural ecology of seabirds (little penguins in Australia, king penguins in Crozet, Adélie penguin in Antarctica).
4- The Atlas of the Census of Antarctic Marine Life (top predator section editor).


Details about my research activity can be found in my "Fieldwork" page.


REFEREE FOR:
Anim Behav, Afr J Mar Sci, Aquatic Biol, Behav Ecol, Comp Biochem Physiol, Conserv Biol, Deep-Sea Res, Ecology, Ecol Lett, Ecol Res, Emu, Endang Species Res, Envir Sci Pollut Res, Estuar Coast Shelf Sci, Func Ecol, Global Change Biol, Ibis, J Anim Ecol, J Avian Biol, J Exp Biol, J Exp Mar Biol Ecol, J Ethol, J Field Ornithol, J R Soc Interface, Mam Biol, Mar Biol, Mar Ecol Prog Ser, Mar Ornit, Meth Ecol Evol, PLoS ONE, Polar Biol, Proc R Soc Lond, Sci Eng Ethics, Zoology
* Academic Editor for PLoS ONE (2009~)
* Associate Editor for Marine Ornithology (2011~)
* Executive editor of the proceedings of the
International Symposium on
Bio-logging Science

* Assistant editor to POLAR BIOSCIENCE
* Secretary of the SCAR Birds and Marine Mammals Expert Group (2009~) * Member of the ANTABIF Steering Committee (2009~)

member of Science Advisory Board, The Japanese Bio-logging Society, ComitÚ National Franšais des Recherches Arctiques et Antarctiques (CNFRA)