Susanne van Donk

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I’m a PhD student working at the NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research since this spring. I have already been working for one season in the dunes of Texel on a colony of Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls. Herring Gulls have my special interest. The Herring Gulls that breed on the island forage on different places; on the island, at sea, in cities, but a major foraging area seems to be the breakwaters along the coast of Noord-Holland and Texel where gulls mainly feed on mussels. We are able to follow the gulls by using GPS-loggers. Preliminary data showed that some of the breakwaters are visited a lot while others are hardly visited. This summer we gathered mussel-samples (quantity and quality) on 70 of the closest breakwaters. Together with hours spent on these breakwaters of eleven tagged individuals this might be an interesting consumer-resource interaction to look at during the course!

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