Foraging ecology of Frigatebirds in the Browse Basin
Rowan undertook undergraduate studies at La Trobe University completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in zoology and botany. He completed an honours degree investigating the effects of prescribed fire on woodland birds in Victoria’s box-ironbark forests. After completion, Rowan remained at La Trobe working as a research assistant in the ornithology lab conducting field work in the Victorian mallee to better understand how fire structures bird assemblages in this environment. Woodland birds remained the focus of Rowan’s research during a year of employment at Deakin University where faunal responses to changes in habitat connectivity and the extent of tree cover in the landscape were his primary interests.
The exciting prospect of understanding an entirely new study system proved too big an allure for Rowan who now watches woodland birds in his spare time. During work hours, he currently studies seabirds and is tackling the challenge of understanding the movement and foraging ecology of frigatebirds in the Browse Basin. This research utilises several lines of enquiry including the attachment of GPS tracking devices, stable isotope analysis of blood and feather samples as well as observational studies of behaviour and faunal distributions.
When Rowan’s spare time isn’t spent birding in a woodland somewhere, he likes to play his guitar, watch sport (especially AFL football), take photographs (usually of birds) and enjoy a beer with friends.
Hodgson, J., Baylis, S.M., Mott, R.M., Herrod, A. and Clarke, R.H. (2016). Precision wildlife monitoring using unmanned aerial vehicles. Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/srep22574
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