Former group members
I am a guest scientist from the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, Germany (www.izw-berlin.de). My special scientific interest falls into the study of temporal structures in animal behaviour, which has the basic idea of mutual interrelations between animals and their variable environment. I apply chronobiological algorithms to assess behavior patterns and to evaluate living conditions of animals and thereby, I develop a procedure for biorhythmic status diagnosis to identifying system disorders and stress conditions of wild animals. The moose research group most likely has the worldwide largest database of moose positions measured by GPS-collars with records of animal activity by continuously 5min-intervals delivering values. During my stay in the project I developed chronobiological analysis tools written in R-language that implement standard and self-developed algorithms for chronobiological analyses. Furthermore, I adapted these computer tools to the requirements of the existing SLU databases. This permits the application of state-of-the-art algorithms to assess biorhythms in wildlife individuals in the field to diagnose their state and the degree of potential disturbances on individual´s activity behaviour.
My main research interest falls into population dynamics of hunted species, using the combination of empirical data collection and modelling to investigate the effect of hunting on wildlife. I am also interested in the ecology and behaviour of wild animals in human dominated landscapes. Within in the project my research focuses to disentangle the relative roles of human-dominated and natural landscapes, human harvesting and natural predators in shaping moose movement behaviour in Scandinavia. While most ungulates show rather clear patterns either of establishing a home range or of migrating long range distances, Scandinavian moose (Alces alces) exhibits an unusual mixed strategy, with some individuals migrating long distances and others remaining being almost stationary.. This work is carried out using spatial statistical analysis and GIS in collaboration with Göran Ericsson, Johan Månsson, Luca Börger (University of Guelph, Canada) and Bram van Moorter (University of Trondheim, Norway). Reproductive strategies and mating efforts that lead to reproductive success have been studied for species that are easy to observe and follow; forest-dwelling and migratory species are more difficult to observe and have not yet been studied in great detail. However, thanks to the major technology advances, we now have the capacity to compare mating strategies and movement behaviour both between and within male and female moose during calving times and during the rut. This work is carried out in collaboration with Göran Ericsson, Jonas Sahlsten, Bram van Moorter (University of Trondheim, Norway) and Atle Mysterud (University of Oslo, Norway).
Per Ljung (former Eriksson)
My main research interest concerns interactions between humans and wildlife, but it also includes animal behavior. My PhD-project is about hunting in Sweden and includes both social and biological aspects. For example, I am investigating public attitudes towards hunting. In terms of moose research, I will investigate how hunting and wildlife management practices (e.g. comparing different forest practices) affect behavior of moose and their habitat choice.
How to use nature's resources in a sustainable in a way that is acceptable for as many people as possible regardless of their attitude towards nature?
I am interested in the ecology of fish and wildlife, especially in species distribution and habitat selection. Furthermore, I am interested in questions regarding the human dimension in wildlife management. Today most forest owners focus on timber production as the main goal for their property. The goal of my PhD-project is to examine the potentials and constraints to develop alternative uses of forest properties. I will focus on tourism based on wildlife and fish and I will study both consumptive and non-consumptive use. In the moose research group I will use GPS-data from several moose populations to model where and when we can find areas suitable for moose tourism.
My main research interest is foraging ecology of large herbivores and factors affecting their browsing patterns. I have mainly worked with moose as a model species. Since January 2008 I am involved in the thematic research program "Wildlife and Forests". My part in that program is to coordinate studies on management improvements to increase alternative forage for moose and other large herbivore species. The aim is to study whether a changed forestry management affects distribution and browsing patterns from the herbivores and thereby also the browsing damages on valuable pine trees. In this project SLU are cooperating with Sveaskog (state owned forest company) and Skogforsk.
Being some kind of a hybrid between a forester and an ecologist, my interests lie mainly in the interactions between forest management and animal species. On the one hand, management of forest landscapes influences habitat quality for forest dwelling species, resulting in a need for strategic conservation and restoration planning. On the other, some animal species such as large herbivores have an impact on forest management through the damages they cause to trees, which calls for the development of effective mitigation approaches. I joined the program 'Wildlife and Forests' in 2009. My main task is to coordinate a large-scale experiment whereby different methods for improving forage for moose and other ungulates are evaluated with respect to their effects on moose populations and browsing damage on valuable tree species. This project is carried out in collaboration with Skogforsk and the state forest enterprise Sveaskog.
At the last decades ecological work has been done at an increasingly larger geographic scale and at regional level it may be difficult to monitor spatial distribution and patterns of movement. My main interest is within landscape ecology and spatial modelling. Specific issues is the ecology of moose (Alces alces) and plant-herbivore interactions from small local scale to large regional scale (with Göran Ericsson's group at the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental science, Swedish Agriculture University (SLU) Umeå). To address issues at large scale the spatial distribution of a species and its preferred habitat patches is analyzed using GIS (geographic information system), GPS technique, remote sensing and spatial statistics.