Measuring the energy content of zooplankton preyfield to refine a bioenergetics model of Adelie penguins in East Antarctica

Supervisory Team:

  • Primary supervisor: A/Prof Kerrie Swadling, IMAS
  • Co-supervisor: Dr. Louise Emmerson, AAD
  • Additional supervisors: Dr. So Kawauchi, AAD; Dr. Colin Southwell, AAD

Brief project description:

A bioenergetics model for estimating daily prey consumption has been developed for Adelie penguins foraging near Bechervaise Island (Southwell et al. 2015). The model was parameterised for prey based on values in published literature. This project will measure energy content of known prey (e.g. Euphausia superba, E. crystallorophias, amphipods, copepods, Pleuragramma antarcticum) and potential prey (e.g. salps) using a bomb calorimeter. These data will enable the exploration and refinement of the bioenergetics model under varying food conditions.

Skills students will develop during this research project:

Bomb calorimetry (to measure energy content of prey); dynamic energy budget modelling, statistical analysis, paper writing, oral presentation, zooplankton identification

Authorised by the Executive Director, Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
December 9, 2019