Emily L. C. Shepard

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Many free-ranging predators have to make foraging decisions with little, if any, knowledge of present resource distribution and availability. The optimal search strategy they should use to maximize encounter rates with prey in heterogeneous natural environments remains a largely unresolved issue in ecology. Lévy walks are specialized random walks giving(More)
Dynamic body acceleration (DBA) has been used as a proxy for energy expenditure in logger-equipped animals, with researchers summing the acceleration (overall dynamic body acceleration--ODBA) from the three orthogonal axes of devices. The vector of the dynamic body acceleration (VeDBA) may be a better proxy so this study compared ODBA and VeDBA as proxies(More)
The ability to measure the energy expenditure of free-ranging animals is of great importance but the techniques available each have their limitations. Recently, as an alternative to more established techniques, an integrated measure of body acceleration termed overall dynamic body acceleration (ODBA) has been used as a calibrated proxy for rate of oxygen(More)
An animal’s behaviour is a response to its environment and physiological condition, and as such, gives vital clues as to its well-being, which is highly relevant in conservation issues. Behaviour can generally be typified by body motion and body posture, parameters that are both measurable using animal-attached accelerometers. Interpretation of acceleration(More)
A theoretically valid proxy of energy expenditure is the acceleration of an animal's mass due to the movement of its body parts. Acceleration can be measured by an accelerometer and recorded onto a data logging device. Relevant studies have usually derived a measure of acceleration from the raw data that represents acceleration purely due to movement of the(More)
An important element in the measurement of energy budgets of free-living animals is the estimation of energy costs during locomotion. Using humans as a particularly tractable model species, we conducted treadmill experiments to test the validity of tri-axial accelerometry loggers, designed for use with animals in the field, to estimate rate of oxygen(More)
Current understanding of how animals search for and exploit food resources is based on microeconomic models. Although widely used to examine feeding, such constructs should inform other energy-harvesting situations where theoretical assumptions are met. In fact, some animals extract non-food forms of energy from the environment, such as birds that soar in(More)
Intersexual differences in the foraging behaviour have been examined in several seabird species, especially those exhibiting sexual size dimorphism. We studied intersex behavioural differences in the Imperial Cormorant (Phalacrocorax atriceps), a size dimorphic seabird. Twenty adults (11 females and 9 males), breeding at Punta León (43°04′S; 64°2′W),(More)
The metabolic costs of animal movement have been studied extensively under laboratory conditions, although frequently these are a poor approximation of the costs of operating in the natural, heterogeneous environment. Construction of "energy landscapes," which relate animal locality to the cost of transport, can clarify whether, to what extent, and how(More)
The tortuosity of the track taken by an animal searching for food profoundly affects search efficiency, which should be optimised to maximise net energy gain. Models examining this generally describe movement as a series of straight steps interspaced by turns, and implicitly assume no turn costs. We used both empirical- and modelling-based approaches to(More)