Marine Bird Program
Marine birds face enormous challenges on a daily basis; the conservation status of seabirds is deteriorating faster than that of any other bird group. Traditionally, researchers could only study marine birds, particularly pelagic seabirds, at their breeding sites; it was practically impossible to follow birds when they migrated far out to sea. However, advances in tracking technologies have opened windows into the mysterious lives of birds that call the ocean home.
With the development of its marine bird program, BRI is poised to address emerging environmental issues such as the development of offshore energy production and marine spatial planning. Predicting the impacts of these, and how seabirds will fare under cumulative pressures, especially in this age of climate change, is a major focus for the program.
"Romantic notions of the sea belie the hardships and challenges facing those who spend most of their lives
on the open ocean."
— Iain Stenhouse, Ph.D.
Iain Stenhouse, Ph.D.
207.839.7600 ext. 210
- Take a leadership role in marine bird research through collaborations with other researchers, including government agencies, non-government research institutions, and other BRI programs
- Contribute to the conservation of marine birds through the identification of key research needs and implementation of applied, issue-driven research projects
- Describe the demographics and ecology of marine birds at sea
- Identify major threats to marine bird populations and their interactions with at-risk populations across seasons
Current BRI Projects
- Prioritization of island habitats through assessment of colonial waterbirds, shorebirds, and endangered species in the Northeastern U.S.
- Development of standardized survey methods for breeding colonial waterbirds in the Northeastern U.S.
- Development of an Implementation Plan for the Gulf of Maine Integrated Ecosystem Research Program
- Expand Northern Gannet research projects, in collaboration with Dr. Bill Montevecchi of Memorial University of Newfoundland
- Establish an eastern Arctic biostation for marine bird research, in collaboration with Dr. Grant Gilchrist of Environment Canada