SEATRACK - Multi-species, multi-population tracking of seabirds on an ocean-basin scale

Institute Seminar by Benjamin Merkel

  • Date: May 23, 2023
  • Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM (Local Time Germany)
  • Speaker: Benjamin Merkel
  • Dr. Benjamin Merkel is a postdoctoral researcher at Akvaplan-niva. His research interests include the polar oceans, movement ecology, spatial analyses, population biology, species distributions, visualization of complex data, and computational modeling.
  • Room: Seminar room MPI-AB Möggingen + Online
  • Host: Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior
  • Contact:
SEATRACK - Multi-species, multi-population tracking of seabirds on an ocean-basin scale
Many seabird species undergo extensive seasonal migrations, often across large marine ecosystems or between marine areas under different national jurisdictions. Through the advances of electronic tracking and especially the application of Global Location Sensors (GLS or geolocator). It is now possible to study the seasonal movements of seabirds and link breeding populations to non-breeding habitats. To take full advantage of this development for better management and conservation, and to broaden the scope of scientific questions that can be assessed, there is a need for large-scale and multi-species programmes. The SEATRACK program with partners from 10 countries aims to identify the year-round distribution and movements of seabirds breeding in colonies across the northern part of the North Atlantic. By 2023, more than 23 000 loggers were deployed on 15 species in 83 colonies, and data from more than 12 000 retrieved loggers have been standardized, analysed, and compiled. The project models and maps important marine habitats for the different populations, studies the potential impact of multiple stressors, including human activities and documents how changes in environmental conditions in non-breeding areas affect demography and population trends. I will present the design of this successful international collaboration network, the power of standardization, the main data products, and examples of the strength of this international effort in answering overarching questions in modern migration research.

SEATRACK’s web-application -
SEATRACK’s webpage -

The MPI-AB Seminar Series is open to members of MPI-AB and Uni Konstanz. The zoom link is published each week in the MPI-AB newsletter.

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