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Partial migration: individual causes and population genetic consequences (STAY OR GO)
Start date: Aug 1, 2011, End date: Feb 25, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Partial migration, where only part of a population migrates, is widespread in the animal kingdom. Despite this, we know very little about the causes and consequences of partial migration, at least partly due to the logistical difficulties in collecting robust data in many species. I propose a project that takes advantage of an established and highly productive study system to answer fundamental questions about the evolution of partial migration in animals using an innovative combination of methods. Firstly, I will ask what drives some individuals to migrate and some to remain resident? Here I will empirically test predictions from a conceptual model that I recently developed which proposes that individual differences in predation risk and/or growth can explain patterns of partial migration. Specifically, I will investigate the role of an individual's position on a behavioural syndrome (i.e. personality) upon migratory behaviour, and predict that fish with bold personalities (that have high individual predation vulnerability) will be more likely to migrate than fish with shy personalities. I will also test the idea that individual differences in feeding niche (trophic polymorphism) influence an individual's migratory behaviour using stable isotope and geometric techniques. Secondly, I will investigate the population genetic consequences of partial migration, and assess its potential as a diversifying force in this system. The project will use a variety of cutting edge behavioural, ecological and molecular techniques to address these fundamental questions, using my established model system, the roach Rutilus rutilus. This novel project will provide a unique opportunity to answer questions on the evolution of partial migration, and indeed migration itself."

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