Aliya Caldwell

Seabird trophic and movement ecology and the use of seabirds in monitoring forage fish communities
Aliyah Caldwell

Biological Sciences: Marine Biology - PhD
Email address:

Advisor: Dr. Nathan Furey; advisor's website

My research focuses on GOM-breeding Common Terns and the forage fishes they rely on, which include species of herring, hake, and sand lance among others. Through GPS tagging, my research explores the space use of terns, particularly their use of the foraging environment, at the colony level as well as between individuals across time (seasonal and inter-annual). Information gathered on foraging locations can then be used to target areas for forage fish sampling, the data from which can be combined with tern diet data to assess tern selection on their prey environment. Once an understanding of forage fish selection by terns is gained, tern diet (for which we have 20+ years of data) can more accurately be compared with fisheries independent data (again over decadal timescales) to understand how terns might be used as monitors or predictors for fisheries in the region.