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Christmas Letter

Read this year's Chistmas letter from Susanne Åkesson
canmove winter

Dear CAnMove Members,
 

We are approaching the Christmas Holidays and New Year’s celebrations and it is time to close the book. It is till green and warm outside my window, but the calendar tells the date. This year we have once more made great progress delivering new research findings, interesting publications and discussed scientific progress with program member as well as with a wide international community and the public.

As many as four CAnMove workshops was organized in 2016, starting with the modelling workshop organized by Giuseppe, Anders, Christina and myself with more than 90 participants. Thereafter Gabriel Norevik with support from supervisors and Christina organized a workshop on nightjar and aerial insectivorous bird migration, inviting a community of scientists from Europe in a collaborative network focusing on nightjar migration and their area use. Just before summer, Sissel, with support from Arne and Rachel organized a radio-telemetry meeting with ca 50 participants focusing on the possibility to coordinate on the European level a network where data could be shared and advice could be given to scientist using this technology for recording movements of bats and birds. In November Giuseppe again coordinated a workshop, this time together with Christoffer, on computer vision in animal movement research. This and the first workshop was very successful and several new collaborations have started to form thanks to the discussions of joint and overlapping research interests and technological needs. Christina has further helped the organizers Erik and co-workers with the conference Evolution in Sweden that was held in Lund in early 2016.

Apart from meetings and discussions of new projects, the technological development in the technological lab by Arne and Johan has generated substantial new understanding of for example how birds perform the migration such as red-backed shrikes and common swifts thanks to the new microdatalogger. We can now answer questions like when red-backed shrikes fly and rest on migration, but also confirm that common swifts fly continuously when they depart from the breeding areas in Scandinavia and head for wintering areas in tropical Africa. There has been much media attention for these two studies (including a film presented at National Geographic and based partly on a previous film project in CAnMove by Joakim Lindhé. The film at this date has reached over 1.1 million views in less than 1.5 months’ time), but also other research findings published during the year. Helena has presented blogs on research progress and news in the program and has coordinated the work together with Caroline with the CAnMove infrastructure report, now available for reading.

Three young scientists, Cecilia, Marco and Sissel, have received prestigious postdoc grants in high competition in the end of the year and prizes have also been given to CAnMove PIs for their outstanding scientific publication (Katma Award to Ashgar, Bengt, Dennis, Helena, Staffan and their collaborator Pavel) and improbable research (IgNobel Prize in physics to Susanne and an international team of scientists lead by Gabor Horváth). Several PIs also received continued funding from the Swedish Research Council for their research projects the coming years, which we are very happy for. 

We make great progress with the CAnMove database thanks to the work by Mats, Natalie and Siri, as well as with the E-book project by Caroline, Aron and Susanne and all young writers. The E-book are reaching its final stage in production and we look forward to present it to a wide audience in 2017. In the last month of the year, we further celebrated Thomas Alerstam for his outstanding scientific achievements in bird migration research and for being such an important inspiration to the younger generation. To make this celebration a long-lasting mark Anders and Åke edited a volume for Journal of Avian Biology, including a list of 18 publications by 71 international authors on bird migration that will be published in January 2017. Jan-Åke and Johan Nilsson has provided great support for this production.

As you see, there has been much progress, some of which I have highlighted above and some which will be found on our web. We can all be happy and proud when closing the book and look forward to the coming year. In 2017 we plan to discuss the future of CAnMove with the Department leadership, organize the first Gordon conference on Animal Movement Research (chaired by Anders), the international migration course (Anders, Rachel and Christina), as well as to continue with our exciting and interesting scientific work.

I wish to express my gratitude to all CAnMove members and collaborators for their support and achievements in 2016! I wish you all the best for 2017 and I much look forward to meet you all again after the Christmas and the New Year’s holidays. Enjoy some good books, food and nature!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Susanne

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VR grants to CAnMove PIs

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