Individual stress-coping strategies in female eiders
My PhD project aims to elucidate the role that stress sensitivity plays in the ability of wild birds to adjust to environmental changes (e.g. predation risk or climate change), as well as to disentangle the effects of such changes at both individual and population scales. To reach this objective, I am studying a key species of the Baltic Sea: the Eider (Somateria mollissima). The eider population of the Baltic Sea is declining, mainly due to a drastic change in predation pressure, following the rapid recovery of a top predator (the White-tailed sea eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla), and the spread of two invasive mammals (the American mink Neovison vison and the Raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides). Moreover, eider migration and breeding phenology are known to be dictated by climate, and the current context of global change may disrupt the annual cycle of this seabird species or deteriorate eider food base during a critical period in their annual cycle: the breeding period. Thus, my work aims to identify individual stress-coping strategies in a context of predation and climate change, as well as to evaluate the effect of such coping strategies on reproductive success. I am also studying the consequences of individual stress-coping strategies on survival, migration, and wintering.
PhD student in the ECOPHY team (2020-2023)
Supervisors: Frédéric ANGELIER (CEBC, France) and Markus ÖST (Åbo Akademi University, Finland)
Universities: La Rochelle Université and Åbo Akademi University bertille.mh(at)gmail.com