Dr. Benowitz-Fredericks is on sabbatical for the 2016-2017 year

Things are a little quieter in the lab this year while MBF is on sabbatical, doing some traveling and collaborating with a colleague at Penn State. However, as a result of the extraordinary hard work of student Eyuel Seyoum, who spent 100 days living in a tent at field camp on an island in the Gulf of Alaska this summer (!), we brought back a lot of samples and data from our field season with black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) on Middleton Island, AK. Eyuel and Nicole Rupik (’19) are working hard this year to unravel the mysteries of the kittiwakes!

This abandoned radar tower was converted into prime kittiwake nesting habitat by Dr. Scott Hatch, several decades ago. You can feed, observe, and access hundreds of invidiual nest sites from inside the tower. For the past few decades, this tower has served as a remarkable natural laboratory to study the effects of food availability on physiology and life-history of these charismatic marine top-predators. Morgan and Eyuel had the privilege of working at this field site in summer 2016.

This abandoned radar tower was converted into prime kittiwake nesting habitat by Dr. Scott Hatch, several decades ago. You can feed, observe, and access hundreds of invidiual nest sites from inside the tower. For the past few decades, this tower has served as a remarkable natural laboratory to study the effects of food availability on physiology and life-history of these charismatic marine top-predators. Morgan and Eyuel had the privilege of working at this field site in summer 2016. Photo by MBF, 2016.

A kittiwake chick peers out from under it’s banded parent at Middleton Island.