Sarah Wanless

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The factors affecting the population dynamics of seabirds have long intrigued biologists. Current data suggest that density-dependent depletion of prey during the breeding season may regulate population size. However, much of the evidence for this has been circumstantial, and the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Here, we show that the per capita(More)
Evolutionary theories of senescence predict that rates of decline in performance parameters should be shaped by early-life trade-offs between reproduction and somatic maintenance. Here we investigate factors influencing the rate of reproductive senescence in a long-lived seabird, the common guillemot Uria aalge, using data collected over a 23-year period.(More)
Sexual differences in the foraging behaviour of parents have been observed in a number of sexually sizedimorphic birds, particularly seabirds, and the usual inference has been that these sex-specific differences are mediated primarily by differences in body size. To test this explanation, we compared the foraging behaviour of parents in a monomorphic(More)
An ethogram is a catalogue of discrete behaviors typically employed by a species. Traditionally animal behavior has been recorded by observing study individuals directly. However, this approach is difficult, often impossible, in the case of behaviors which occur in remote areas and/or at great depth or altitude. The recent development of increasingly(More)
Shortening of telomeres, specific nucleotide repeats that cap eukaryotic chromosomes, is thought to play an important role in cellular and organismal senescence. We examined telomere dynamics in two long-lived seabirds, the European shag and the wandering albatross. Telomere length in blood cells declines between the chick stage and adulthood in both(More)
Colonial breeding is widespread among animals. Some, such as eusocial insects, may use agonistic behavior to partition available foraging habitat into mutually exclusive territories; others, such as breeding seabirds, do not. We found that northern gannets, satellite-tracked from 12 neighboring colonies, nonetheless forage in largely mutually exclusive(More)
1. Abundant mid-trophic pelagic fish often play a central role in marine ecosystems, both as links between zooplankton and top predators and as important fishery targets. In the North Sea, the lesser sandeel occupies this position, being the main prey of many bird, mammal and fish predators and the target of a major industrial fishery. However, since 2003,(More)
In temperate regions, winter presents animals with a number of challenges including depressed food abundance, increased daily energy requirements, higher frequency of extreme weather events and shortened day length. Overcoming these constraints is critical for overwintering survival and scheduling of future breeding of long-lived species and is likely to be(More)
1. Most scenarios for future climate change predict increased variability and thus increased frequency of extreme weather events. To predict impacts of climate change on wild populations, we need to understand whether this translates into increased variability in demographic parameters, which would lead to reduced population growth rates even without a(More)
Bottom-feeding, breath-hold divers would be expected to minimize transit time between the surface and foraging depth, thus maximizing the opportunities for prey capture during the bottom phase of the dive. To achieve this they can potentially adjust a variety of dive parameters, including dive angle and swim speed. However, because of predictable changes in(More)