Pacific salmon ecology & conservation laboratory

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  Dr. Glenn T. Crossin, NSERC Postdoctoral fellow
Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh, UK, and Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC

mailing address
Centre for Applied Conservation Research
Forest Sciences Centre
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC  V6T 1Z4  CANADA

Office: +001 604 569-1584
crossin - at - interchange.ubc.ca

My general interests are in behavioural and phyiological ecology of vertebrates, particulatly seabirds and fish. My dissertation research focused on the physiologic and endocrine mechanisms governing the behaviour of homing sockeye salmon. Specifically, I looked at how changes along the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis affect the timing of return migrations. I have also examined the role of stress on patterns migration timing and survival, and with collaborators and other lab members how changes in river temperatures are affecting the long-term sustainability of sockeye populations in the Fraser River of British Columbia.

Post-doctoral work continues with salmon models but my primary focus is on the links between reproductive physiology. behaviour and the ecology of Antarctic seabirds.

 

Telemetric studies of Antarctic seabirds: integrating reproductive physiology and ecology.

I am currently a postdoctoral fellow working in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey at Cambridge examining the physiology control of life-history variation in albatrosses, petrels and penguins. For example, I'm studying the hormonal underpinnings of reproductive fate and migration timing in albatrosses at Bird Island, South Georgia.  Field studies of breeding black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys, below left) describe three general reproductive fates that can be observed in any given breeding season:  birds lay at the start of the season and then either fail or succeed at producing a fledgling, or birds defer reproduction until the following season.  Similar outcomes have been observed in sympatric grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma, below right), white-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis), and macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus, below centre).  The physiology underpinning these three fates is at present not well understood, though failure and deferral may reflect physiologic and/or energetic constraints imparted by local/regional environmental conditions.

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  Reproductive fate also correlates with the timing of outward migration by albatrosses and petrels at the breeding season’s end, with deferring birds leaving the colony first, followed by failed, and then successful breeders.  By coupling physiological sampling with geolocation telemetry, we will examine the physiological basis of these tactics.  Telemetry will also allow us to monitor the at-sea distributions of these birds throughout the winter non-breeding seasonAs albatorsses are presently the world's most-endangered family of birds- due mostly to their incidental mortality in long-line fisheries along the Argentine coast- telemetry will allow us to map the spatio-temporal distributions of birds and define areas of overlap with ocean fisheries to aid coservation efforts.