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Yannis Vardanis

My work on animal movement and migratory birds started during my undergraduate years in the University and Natural History Museum of Crete, Greece, where I participated in a national project on the breeding biology of Eleonora’s falcons. Later on, at the Hellenic Ornithological Society I studied the foraging movement patterns of Yellow-legged gulls, Cory’s shearwaters and Lesser kestrels. I have also gained experience on the stopover ecology of migrating passerines while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, collaboration with the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Moving to the studying grounds of Lund University I completed an MSc in Animal Ecology. Through my dissertation I used long-term tracking data of a long-distance migratory bird, the Marsh harrier, to investigate the repeatability in routes taken by individual birds during successive years.

The aim of my PhD project here, started July 2011 and supervised by Thomas Alerstam, is to increase the understanding of individual variation associated with the birds’ strategies of carrying out their migratory journeys. There is a rich diversity of migratory strategies among birds with respect to flight and stopover behaviour, seasonal timing, variation in travel paths and responses to weather and wind. Migration strategies will be analysed by using results from an ongoing individual-based tracking program. Specific aspects that will be dealt with include the geometry of travel paths, repeatability in routes and timing and sources of variability in the spatiotemporal migratory patterns within and between individuals of different categories. Analysing individual histories may further our understanding on the scope of flexibility in animal migration and the relative importance of inheritance vs learning for its spatiotemporal control.


Yannis Vardanis
E-mail: yannis.vardanis [at]

Postdoctoral fellow

Evolutionary ecology


Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden