+49 (0)641-99 35772
Justus Liebig University
Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology Group
Institute for Animal Ecology & Systematics
Fields of interest / focus of the work:
My project focuses on the habitat use, migration strategies, condition and parasitic infestations of native wild doves in Germany. My priority research topics are:
- Investigation of habitat use and migration strategies of turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) as long-distance migrants and stock doves (Columba oenas) as short-distance migrating birds. The data collection is carried out by telemetry with ICARUS satellite tags.
- Comparison of the habitat use of the common wood pigeon (Columba palumbus) from city and forest populations using GPS-GSM data logger.
- Determination of the wild doves' body condition on the basis of different physiological parameters such as the H/L ratio, hematocrit level or plasma triglyceride values.
- Analysis of the parasite prevalence using blood samples and throat swabs. The prevalence and genetic identity of different blood parasites species is determined via PCR and sequencing methods. Furthermore, I check possible infection with Trichomonas gallinae, a parasitic protozoa infecting wild doves commonly, using the throat swabs.
My investigation results of the currently inadequately known habitat use and migration routes of wild doves will help to enable the planning of effective species conservation measures, which is particularly important for the turtle doves, since they are listed as 'vulnerable' in the Red List. The analysis of blood parasite and Trichomonas infections is also relevant for the protection of the species, as there are increasing evidences of negative effects of the diseases on the birds.