Dr. Marco Cianchetti
AG Verhaltensökologie und Ökophysiologie der Tiere
Fields of interest / focus of work
My research focuses on behavioural ecology adaptations on seabirds: evolution of behavioural adaptations in relation to foraging strategy, social organization, reproductive strategies, mating system, population dynamics and sexual selection. I have worked with seabirds since 2008 as field assistant and I and I have participated in many research projects.
I am carrying on a research project for my PhD on the role of fisheries discards on the behavioral adaptations of Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) in response to changes in the natural prey availability in Linosa Island (Italy), the second biggest colony of this species in the world, hosting over 10,000 couples. To evaluate the impact and implications of fisheries discard consumption by this species, we are using a combination of modern methods (GPS tracking, measurements of metabolic rates from acceleration logging, and non-invasive genetic diet determination). Moreover we are considering how the quality of adults influences the choice of type of natural prey fisheries discards, evaluating the energetic benefits from fisheries discard consumption and the consequences for parent-offspring interactions. There are some shearwaters species (such as Balearic Shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus) that are strictly dependent to discards. However, the European Union are planning a program of progressive discards banning. In this scenario, it is necessary to better understand the ecological importance of fisheries discards for shearwaters in this area of Mediterranean Sea.