QCBS Students

Erin Brown

McGill University
B.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Kyle Elliott
Start: 2017-01-09
End: 2017-12-21

Prey switching energetics of Black Guillemots from Arctic Cod to Sculpin due to environmental changes
I will be using a multiple datasets provided by George Divoky, who has been studying Black Guillemots on Coopers Island for the last 30 years. Black Guillemots are a arctic shorebird who utilize near shore fish when provisioning young. Due to climate change, a decrease in sea ice cover is forcing the Black Guillemots to switch from the viable Arctic Cod to the less desirable Sculpin. In recent years, Guillemots have continued their reliance on Sculpin and consequently the number of breeding pairs has declined. Although, we are aware that this prey switching dynamic is occurring, it has yet to be determined at which depth and time the Guillemots will deem it worthy to switch prey. My goal is to establish, using new depth recording data, the time and depth at which Black Guillemots switch from Arctic Cod to Sculpin. This will provide insight into how expected continual sea ice retreat will affect the viability of the population.