September 2010

Associate Professor Buck Banks (Environmental Science) spent part of September in Kenya working on several research projects.

We wrapped up fieldwork in Watamu this week, capturing some more birds and collecting their fecal pellets, as well as trapping more arthropods. The fecal pellets have been sent to a forensics lab in Nairobi, where they will be scanned for DNA signatures of different types of insects, so that we can determine the composition of the diets of the birtds (and hence focus our data collection and conservation efforts on those species). We also finished recording turtle nesting habitat data along a 4km stretch of the beach; these data will be combined with similar surveys done throughout this year, so we can discern any patterns between beach condition and turtle nesting frequency.

Read the rest of Buck's post in the Notes from the Field blog

Associate Professor Buck Banks (Environmental Science) spent part of September in Kenya working on several research projects.

Jambo from Kenya! I am on the east coast about an hour and a half north of Mombasa, at the Mwamba Bird Observatory & Field Centre. Nestled here at the facility on the Indian Ocean, I and three UWT students have been doing fieldwork for a few ongoing research projects. We spent the last few days in the nearby Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, catching birds in mist nets with a colleague (ornithologist Colin Jackson, Director here at Mwamba) and his team. As the birds are “ringed” (banded for future identification), we have been collecting fecal pellet samples that we’ll have analyzed at a forensics lab in Nairobi for DNA from different types of arthropods in order to better establish what the birds are eating.

Read the rest of Buck's post in the Notes from the Field blog

Associate Professor Buck Banks (Environmental Science) spent part of September in Spain attending a workshop.

Greetings from Spain - I've been here the past two weeks attending a workshop and giving seminars. The workshop, which was held in La Mancha (the central region made famous in part by Cervantes' beloved fictional character, Don Quixote), focused on bringing an ecological modelling perspective to some particularly challenging problems in cancer biology. Our group of interdisciplinary scientists included applied mathematicians, ecologists, cancer biologists and physicians - and we spent several days trying to generate some new ideas to tackle some old problems.

Read the rest of Buck's post in the Notes from the Field blog