What’s the project about? Migrating animals have to be energy efficient to travel long-distance. Animals like fish and birds that migrate through water or air can take advantage of currents to carry them, offsetting their own costs of transport. For large soaring birds, like the white stork, rising air is essential for making long-distance flights affordable. We know that storks use these uplifts, and that they choose migratory routes that make the most of available uplifts. But, are storks choosing to fly only when conditions are good, or are they simply flying through whatever conditions occur? This can be answered by comparing the distribution of uplift accessed by migrating storks to the true distribution of uplift. Using R, you will use ECMWF ERA-5 weather models to estimate uplift velocity (the convective velocity scale) at locations across the western flyway. You will compare these to the uplift available where and when GPS tracked white storks are migrating.
Who can apply? The project is open to BSc students