Profiles

Marta Lomas Vega

Marta Lomas Vega

Postdoctor

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Works at Department of Zoology
Email marta.lomas.vega@zoologi.su.se
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 18b
Room D 547
Postal address Zoologiska institutionen: Ekologi 106 91 Stockholm

About me

 

My education centres within evolutionary ecology, behavioural ecology and climate change biology. I am especially interested in studying long-term adaptations to the environment, including to environmental changes, and flexibility of behaviour using birds as model species.

During my PhD, I tracked bird movement at global and local scales to investigate patterns in relation to the inherited migration programme and to environmental pressures and the underlying mechanisms of these. To understand the innate part of the migration programme, I used a brood-parasitic species, the common cuckoo, which juvenile birds never get to meet their parents and migrate solitarily at night. By tracking the migration of these juvenile birds, I could thus study the innate component of the migration programme and compare it to that of experienced adults. This research indicated that the innate programme allows birds to perform more directed migration oriented to a goal area, even compensating for external pressures such as side winds, while adults can use external cues more efficiently.

Other parts of my PhD looked into how migrating birds track peaks of food-resources during migration and breeding as well as the potential effect of climate change on the migration routes. Finally, I studied bird migration strategies to cross ecological barriers, and genetic population structure in relation to migration routes.

Research

 
Long-term effects of climate change on Swedish bird populations

In my current research, I study the impact of recent climate change on the breeding phenology and reproductive success of Sweden's breeding birds. The aim is to uncover the extent to which the breeding ecology of Sweden's birds has changed over the past three decades and to uncover the environmental mechanisms that have led to these changes. Using thousands of nest reports of different bird species and environmental variables, that give information on vegetation greenness and weather changes over time, I study breeding time and breeding success patterns during the last 36 years. Another part of this project looks into shifts of wintering areas and the potential relation with climate change and phenology shifts.

This project is funded by the RA8 of the Bolin Centre in collaboration with Cecilia Kullberg at the Department of Zoology, and Thord Fransson at the Swedish Museum of Natural History.

Last updated: October 1, 2019

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