Swiss-Dutch coordination meeting

Summary of catch-up meeting between Swiss and Dutch GloBAM team members on 6-8 November 2019.

• Tom Mason

The Swiss contingent of GloBAM recently visited Judy Shamoun-Baranes and team members based at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to discuss our latest progress and to coordinate our research activities. What followed was two days of engaging discussions, interspersed with opportunities to sample some hearty Dutch food and beer.

The meeting started with a round of short presentations on the latest research of the all the attendees, which included some fascinating talks from PhD students in UvA’s Animal Movement Ecology research group.

The UvA GloBAM team members have made some exciting progress in extracting, processing and visualising bird migration using weather radar data across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and introduced the latest developments in their data infrastructure to the rest of the team. We discussed our future plans for this effort, which included coordinating how to broaden its geographic scope. One of the principal goals of GloBAM is to develop a long-term dataset of weather radar data across Europe, so it is great to see the progress that is being made!

During the second half of the meeting, we split into sub-groups to discuss various topics, including avenues for collaboration between postdocs, future sources of funding, data storage plans, and opportunities to integrate radar and citizen science data. Speaking as a postdoc, it was great to plan how to integrate our different activities to achieve the broader objectives of GloBAM.

Our visit coincided with the delivery of a new BirdScan radar to the UvA team, which the great and the good of aeroecology managed to set up on the grounds of the university (without too much difficulty). As you read this, the radar should be recording the local movements of wintering waterfowl over Amsterdam, and will be ready to go when the migration season kicks in next spring.

On our last night, we had a chance to go ice skating as a group, which was great fun. Some took to the ice better than others (safe to say, I was in the latter category). Baptiste was a standout performer, putting his ice hockey background to good use as he carved aggressively past the more sedate local skaters.

In summary, the meeting was a great success, and the team from the Swiss Ornithological Institute are extremely grateful to Judy, Willem Bouten and the rest of the UvA group for hosting us.

img Discussions about aeroecology and other interesting things continue over beers.