Abstract Nathan: High-Throughput Movement Ecology

The emerging movement ecology paradigm – aimed at integrating studies of whole-organism movements across taxonomic groups – has greatly benefited from recent developments in wildlife tracking technologies, enhanced computation abilities and powerful data analysis tools, all of which have helped elucidate movement patterns, the underlying movement processes and their consequences. Yet, some key questions in ecology and behavior remain unresolved due to a lack of movement data from free-ranging wild organisms at the scales and resolution relevant for understanding interactions among organisms and with the environment. In this talk, I will first introduce the basic concepts of movement ecology. Then, I will present some exciting developments in our ability to automatically and simultaneously track multiple small animals at high sampling frequency, share some new insights from recent studies carried out in my lab, and highlight the key challenges and opportunities in movement-ecology research. Some examples of questions addressed in my group include What do experienced animals do better than inexperienced ones? Do birds and bats possess a navigational map? and What are the most important “things” in life?