Within species, there is variation among populations, groups of animals in a particular area that interbreed. Population dynamics focusses on the study of demographics, such as growth and decline, and the environmental processes that driving them. Marine Animal Ecology contributes to the fields of population genetics and population ecology and studies how population dynamics change over time and space.
Genomic basis of bottlenecks
Overfishing and other pressures can lead to severe population bottlenecks. This may be the case for blacktip reef sharks, which are increasingly observed in the Maldives showing a rare skin disease. will use genomic data to infer recent inbreeding history of the shark population. The aim is to develop a genomic tool to monitor inbreeding in wild populations.
Open for students but fieldwork delayed until at least March 2021.
Population dynamics on small islands
Seabirds are not doing so well. Especially on small islands such as those present in the Caribbean, threat of local extinction is high. aims to answer what determines population success of Red-billed tropicbirds on St. Eustatius and Saba. Survival, migration patterns and population genetics will be studied and compared with patterns of large populations.
Not yet open for students.
Sea urchin populations in the Dutch Caribbean
In 1983, more than 95% of the sea urchin died due to an unknown disease around Saba and St. Eustatius in the Dutch Caribbean. aims to restore sea urchin populations as they are essential herbivores with important benefits for coral reef health. Both lab and field experiments will be used.
Open for students.
Techniques used & Implications
To study population dynamics, Marine Animal Ecology performs and performs . With a better understanding of population dynamics we are better able to to work towards .