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Movement Ecology - MOVE

Movement Ecology - MOVE

Animal movements have fascinated humans for a long time and the advent of animal-attached tags for logging and/or relaying data has enabled researchers to study their movements, behaviour, physiology and/or the environment; this is collective refered to as bio-logging. Movement ecology is a cross-disciplinary approach aiming to quantitatively describe and understand how movement relates to individual and population-level processes. Presently new tracking technologies and sensors are revolutionizing the study of animal movement and behaviour, revealing (1) individual variability, (2) unknown connectivity patterns, (3) new habitat and behavioural interactions, and (4) the critical role of environmental heterogeneity in shaping movement patterns. This golden era of bio-logging has therefore enabling researchers to address new conservation and management challenges.

Specific interests of the MOVE group are linked with understanding (i) how animals move over large spatio–temporal scales; (ii) the processes underpinning movement patterns and how these converge across species and habitats; (iii) how the environment influences behavioural strategies and spatial distributions over short- and long-term (e.g., climate) scales; and finally, (iv) the consequences of movement patterns for species persistence, particularly under human-induced threats. Therefore, the MOVE research group is divided into four main research themes aiming to study (1) the ecology of animal migration, (2) the convergent evolution of movement patterns, (3) the behavioural responses to environmental heterogeneity and, (4) the impacts of anthropogenic activities. These approaches and data are employed to aid management and species conservation.

Tracking technologies are revolutionising the study of animal movement and behaviour. Innovative methods, however, require the integration of a growing number of sensors, and progress needs to be made in both marine and terrestrial applications. Start-ups supported by MOVE, ElectricBlue and Movetech Telemetry, have developed novel bio-logging tags that have been tested and validated for animal tracking. 

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