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My research focusses on the effects of sea-level rise on shorebirds in the Dutch Wadden Sea.
To predict what the effects of climate change and specifically sea-level rise will be on shorebirds, we have to understand what habitat they currently need. Our main research components are therefore:
1) What do shorebirds eat
2) which areas of the Wadden Sea do they use?
For this, we study their diet by analyzing feces and blood samples, and we track shorebirds with lightweight tags to look at their habitat use. Once we understand their current habitat use and diet, we can predict, by using geomorphological models, what will happen to these important areas in the future.
We conduct most of our research on the small uninhabited island of Griend, in the western Dutch Wadden Sea, where we catch birds and study their prey landscape. We focus on the six most abundant shorebird species in the Dutch Wadden Sea: dunlin, red knots, oystercatchers, bar-tailed godwits, curlew, and grey plovers.