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PHD Ecological and evolutionary drivers of foraging specialisation in lesser black-backed gulls – from causes to consequences

Lesser black-backed gull (Yves Adams - Vildaphoto)
Lesser black-backed gull (Yves Adams - Vildaphoto)


Lesser black-backed gulls are interesting study objects because they show a high variation of individual foraging specialization along the generalist-specialist continuum feeding, in terrestrial, marine, or urban habitats, despite being generalists at the species levels. This study wants to understand how foraging speciation develops and to what extent genetic components, early development and learning play a role. The broad spectrum of foraging specialisations makes the species extremely flexible species towards changing environmental conditions and opportunities offered by anthropogenic activities. The study hopes to cast light on the underlying process of such fast adaptations en wants to model the effects of future changes in climate and food availability.
Status Running
Actual start/end date 01/11/2020 - 01/11/2024


INBO Research theme(s)

  • Protected nature
  • Water
  • Nature & society