Migrant Landbird Study Group

Promoting collaborative research for migratory landbirds across flyways

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Do you have those decisions that you look back on and think, ‘I am so glad I did that’? Well, for me, attending the Centre for Animal Movement Research (CAnMove ) Ecology of Animal Migration course is now one of such.

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I know this kind of opening statement might set up high expectations, but this course truly did deliver on what I expected and then some. The course is a two-week international PhD programme that is also open to late-stage MScs and early-stage postdocs studying animal movement in different taxa, using different methods and from different backgrounds. It is offered biennially, usually in the last quarter of the focal year, but announcements are made and registration is open much earlier in the year.

As a postdoc at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town and at the South African National Biodiversity Institute in South Africa, attending a course in Lund is a long way to go. However, the course came highly recommended and I am so glad I listened. The course provided ‘insight in a number of different methods and approaches to study the migration of birds, insects, fish, amphibians and mammals, ranging from experimental studies in the laboratory to tracking long-distance migration in wild animals’.

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Lectures were given by the legendary Thomas Alerstam along with international experts Peter Marra, Navinder Singh and many more. The course afforded the unique opportunity of presenting one’s work to peers and to experts, who all offered helpful feedback and made themselves open to questions. It was also possible to get some practical exposure by ‘playing’ with Colin Pennycuick’s Flight program, seeing the wind tunnel and radar station at Lund, as well as visiting Falsterbo bird observatory and the Stensoffa field station. Yet with all this, the most significant outputs of the course were the networks, and the cross-taxa and trans-disciplinary collaboration opportunities open to me.

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The CAnMove Ecology of Animal Migration course creates a viable platform for asking the right questions in charting the course for the future of animal migration research. Without reservation, I strongly recommend this course to anyone studying animal movement and interested in gaining an overview of the various approaches to answering the questions of why, how, where and when animals move.

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 -- Dayo Osinubi