Chough Research on Islay Pays Off

A young researcher from the University of Aberdeen, Dr Jane Reid, who is also researching the choughs on Islay, won a top award. This was anounced in a press release earlier today. A quote from that press release:

"A young ecologist has won a prestigious award that aims to help outstanding researchers fulfil their potential to become world leaders in their field. Dr Jane Reid, a Royal Society University Research Fellow in population and evolutionary ecology, has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize by The Leverhulme Trust, which is presented to scholars who had made a substantial and internationally recognised contribution to their chosen field. Only 25 prizes are awarded across five categories, which this year were Zoology; Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; History of Art; Mathematics and Statistics; Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History. Each prize is worth £70,000, which can be used for any purpose that advances the prize winner's research." Continue reading...."The research of Dr Reid – who is based in the University of Aberdeen's Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences – aims to understand how environmental, behavioural and genetic factors combine to influence the size and structure of natural populations. Dr Reid focuses particularly on studying populations of wild birds. She uses long term data describing each individual bird's survival and movements to understand how those populations are likely to respond to environmental change. Dr Reid's current field projects include detailed studies of starlings on one of Britain's most remote islands - Fair Isle. She is also studying the charismatic red billed chough on the Scottish island of Islay, as well as a population of song sparrows in western Canada."

Researching the chough on Islay is one of her current projects together with the Scottish Chough Study Group with Eric & Sue Bignal & Davy McCracken and Pat Monaghan (University of Glasgow). "Islay is the main stronghold of choughs in Scotland. These birds breed in traditional sites, in caves, barns and derelict buildings. Since 1980, members of the Scottish Chough Study Group have monitored breeding success, and followed the fortunes of colour-ringed fledglings. They are using these data to investigate effects of temporal and spatial variation in environmental conditions on individual life-histories, and to try to understand the demographic and environmental determinants of population change."

More information on Jane Reid can be found on the University of Aberdeen website

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