Health of arctic and antarctic bird populations

An international research project

At the University of Groningen, there is a Ph.D. scholarship available to combine field work with laboratory analysis into the interaction between birds and their pathogens and parasites. More info here.

The plan
Studying the occurence of pathogens and parasites in arctic breeding migratory birds (for me this means geese, but for you it might mean some other species), testing the immune system and mark these birds with visual individually coded tags to relate the health status of the bird to individual fitness (breeding success and survival). An experimental treatment of indivdiual birds with medicine could show the causal link between health and fitness. More details can be found here

The international polar year
The international polar year (IPY) offers a unique opportunity to enhance international cooperation in a multidisciplinary approach. It should channel extra funding for arctic research to specific research projects. With this website I hope to make contact with interested parties and develop the project in more detail. More information on IPY is available at For reserachers in the Netherlands also look at this document or this website.

International students help sampling barnacle geese (Spitsbergen 2005) Time shedule
IPY envisages arctic field studies in 2007 and 2008. A plan is endorsed by CAFF and IPY and there is already some research activity undertaken in 2005 (see photo) and planned for 2006. You can find a full list of all initiatives here.

Partners can join via this form. I hope to get together a group of bird catchers, ecologists, physiologists, veterinarians and epidemiologists/modellers. On this website, there is a primitive forum for reactions.