You are hereHolly Kirk
My project focuses on the behavioural ecology of pelagic seabirds both at sea and on the breeding colony. Recent advances in data logging technology mean we are able to build a comprehensive description of movement behaviour throughout the migratory and reproductive phases of several seabird species. Most of this research is carried out on the burrow nesting Manx shearwater, Puffinus puffinus, based on Skomer Island (South Pembrokeshire), although our work takes us to several islands around the Irish Sea.
There are two essentially complimentary methods of data collection for this project:
Colony based data- A purpose built network of burrow sensors designed to log detailed individual activity and weight routinely at the nest (see Autonomous Monitoring of Vulnerable Habitats for more information).
At-sea data - So far we use three different bird-borne loggers, often in combination, to determine spatial and behavioural activity while an individual bird is away on foraging trips or during migration.
My main research interest is looking at behavioural and ecological interactions and how these influence individual decision making. Using both colony based and at-sea data I will look for behavioural patterns within individuals, pairs, the whole colony and across different colonies, relating this to environmental data. In addition, I am particularly interested in using geolocation as a tool to determine the migratory behaviour of several different seabird species on Skomer.
I gained my BSc (Hons) Zoology from Bristol University where my final year research project was investigating the population dynamics of the flour mite, Acarus siro supervised by Professor Richard Wall. During the second year of my degree I obtained a SEP grant from the Bristish Ecological Society to run a pilot study mapping pollination networks in Caledonian pine forest. I also attended a Tropical Biology Association field course in Amani, Tanzania before starting my PhD.
Address: Holly Kirk, Department of Zoology (E23a), South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS