Victoria Dale

I studied Biological Sciences at the University of Oxford for my undergraduate degree (2012 – 2015) and I then completed a Masters of Research at the University of Southampton in 2017.

Long-term temporal dynamics of an over-sea migrant bird assemblage

PhD Aims:

  • To look at the effect of environmental change on migrant species phenology (the timing of species life history events), as well as how this scales up to alter the community composition of species using Fair Isle through time

PhD Objectives:

  • To achieve the aims of this project, I will be using daily migrant sighting data, spanning > 60 years, to investigate how the migratory schedules and phenology of multiple bird species have changed through time. This dataset, collected by Fair Isle Bird Observatory using a standardised methodology since 1955, provides a rare opportunity to quantify inter-species differences in the presence/magnitude of phenological responses in both spring and autumn
  • I will use the findings from this to investigate whether specific factors/attributes (e.g., phylogeny, migration distance, habitat requirements, feeding ecology etc.) are effective in explaining observed variance in species phenological responses
  • Finally, I aim to scale this up to quantify how the structure and composition of the migratory community assemblage passing through Fair Isle has changed throughout this time period
  • From this, I will assess whether inter-species differences in response are altering temporal niche separation between species using Fair Ilse and thereby changing species interactions

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