STSM

An integral part of the research conducted at ENRAM will be in the form of Short-Term Scientific Missions (STSMs). This is the exchange of scientific staff with a duration of 1 or 3 months. STSMs will be awarded to individuals who apply with a written proposal to dedicated members of the MC responsible for this aspect. Early-stage researchers are strongly encouraged to take part in STSMs. The following is an excerpt from the e-COST documentation regarding STSMs (STSM).

For more information, please contact Dr Silke Bauer [silke.s.bauer (at) gmail.com). Applications for 2016 should be submitted to Dr. Silke Bauer by 31 March 2016.

2017

Data infrastructure proof of concept (16-20 January 2017, Switzerland)
These STSMs were carried out by Peter Desmet and Stijn Van Hoey from the LifeWatch team at the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) in Belgium and Liesbeth Verlinden from the research group Computational Geo-Ecology at the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They were invited by Silke Bauer and Felix Liechti at the Department of Bird Migration at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Switzerland and developed a proof of concept for an ENRAM data repository for bird profiles - with functionality to transfer data from the BALTRAD FTP server to this repository - and extended the bioRad R package to download and read data from this repository. They also provided technical advise for the Western European flyway workshop, which was held in parallel with the first three days of their STSMs. The final reports of these STSMs can be found here: STSM report Desmet, STSM report Van Hoey, STSM report Verlinden. This STSM is part of the ongoing activities of working group 3.

Algorithm operationalisation in BALTRAD: upgrade and back processing (9-13 January 2017, Sweden)
The STSM was carried out by Liesbeth Verlinden (Universiteit van Amsterdam) and Matus Tejiscak (University of St Andrews) and hosted by Günther Haase (SMHI Norrköping). The aim was to update the Baltrad radar data processing pipeline, to ensure the availability of its outputs, to assess the archived data, and to develop a reliable method of back-processing archived raw data. The results suggest a range of further improvements in both data acquisition and processing. The final reports can be found here: STSM report Verlinden , STSM report Tejiscak

 

2016

Real-time visualisation of raw weather radar data over the Netherlands and Belgium (28 Nov - 3 Dec 2016, the Netherlands)
The STSM was carried out by Phillip Stepanian from Rothamsted Research, UK and hosted by Judy Shamoun-Baranes and Liesbeth Verlinden, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The final report can be downloaded here.

A visualization of raw radar data using BIRDTAM color codes. This is an example of autumn migration of songbirds over the center of the Netherlands

The effects of fog on the flight behaviour of migrating Honey Buzzards as recorded by radar (14 – 26 November 2016, Israel)
The STSM was carried out by Michele Panuccio and hosted by Nir Sapir at the University of Haifa (Israel) and aimed to investigate the effect of fog banks on the flight behaviour of migrating birds. In particular were analysed data collected with surveillance radars at the Strait of Messina during spring migration. The preliminary results show that fog banks strongly affected number of birds migrating in the study area. Moreover also flight parameters were influenced by fog presence and in particular flight speed of migrating birds was faster during foggy time than with good visibility. The final report can be found here.

RADAR study of gull movements in southwestern Portugal (30 October-5 November 2016, Portugal)
The STSM was carried by Dr Stavros Xirouchakis from the Natural History Museum of University of Crete (Greece) and was hosted by Dr Ricardo Tomé from the environmental consulting agency of STRIX (Portugal). The STSM aimed to improve radar ornithology techniques in monitoring bird movements and assess bird collision risk to onshore wind farms. The study species were the Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and the Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) which migrate along the west coast of southern Portugal every autumn. The STRIX BIRDTRACK® surveillance system was applied where an X-band marine radar, placed on a vantage point on a mountain ridge crossed by both gull species (Espinhaço de Cão Mountains) worked in horizontal mode. Radar data were validated by visual observations and processed by the STRIX Birdmonitor® software which incorporates signal-processing technology and advanced tracking algorithms that optimize automatic detection, tracking and classification of bird targets (i.e. automatic data grabbing, calibration and ground and weather clutter filtering). The main findings were that: a) species identification was impossible solely based on radar tracks thus ground truthing by visual observations will remain an essential complement to radar ornithology in the study area, b) bird speed or wing-beat frequency could not be used for distinguishing gull species  and form mixed flocks moving with energetic flight and same speed, c) there was poor evidence that gull numbers were affected by wind direction, d) habituation to wind turbines and avoidance might be more frequent in places where resident/ territorial species occur in contrast to species spending less time in wind farm areas when migrating, e) proper wind farm site planning should be considered as a conservation priority before proceeding to mitigating techniques such as wind turbines shut-down on demand.

Biological Echo CLassification in Dual-Pol Weather Radar Data (3-9 April 2016, Finland)
This STSM was carried out by Dr. Sevgi Zübeyde Gürbüz from the TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Electrical-Electronics Engineering.  It was hosted by Dr. Jarmo Koistinen from the Finnish Meteorological Service and Dr. Matti Leskinen from the Universityof Helsinki.  The goal of this work was to examine dual-pol meteorological radar data from Hatay, Turkey and determine whether significant bird migration could be detected.  Furthermore, differences in dual-pol data obtained in Turkey versus that from Finland were considered, and the design of a naive Bayesian classifier investigated that could give robust results across geographies of significantly different climate and topology. The final report can be downloaded here.

Applying bird algorithm to weather radar from Germany, France and Switzerland (15-19 February 2016, the Netherlands)
In this STSM, Baptiste Schmid (Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland) learn to apply the bird algorithm and retrieve bird densities from weather radar data of Germany and France. The STSM aimed to estimate the feasibility of a large-scale analyses of bird migration using weather radar stations on the northern side of the Alps. It was hosted by Adriaan Dokter and Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The final report can be downloaded here.

Comparison of the regional, seasonal and annual variation of bird migration using data from five weather radars in the Netherlands and Belgium (15-19 February, the Netherlands)
This STSM was carried out by Martina Scacco from Ornis italic (Rome, Italy) and hosted by Adriaan Dokter and Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The final report can be downloaded here.

Implementation of a visualization tool used for understanding and communicating complexity of bird behaviour related to different influencing factors (15-19 February, the Netherlands)
The aim of this STSM was to establish a Bird Migration Visualisation Tool to facilitate interpretation of simulation results and communicate findings to a scientific and general audience. The Visualisation Tool provides detailed information about the spatial and temporal distribution of birds and the wind field. Using this Visualisation Tool the complex behaviour of migratory birds that is influenced by different environmental and geographic factors can be studied in more detail. The STSM was conducted by Annika Aurbach and hosted by Judy Shamoun-Baranes & Adriaan Dokter , Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The final report can be downloaded here.

Analysis of weather radar data in the context of bird migration (15-19 February, the Netherlands)
This STSM was performed by Nadja Weisshaupt from Aranzadi, Society of Sciences, Spain, to analyse data from French and Spanish weather radars situated along the Bay of Biscay to study regional bird migration phenology. It was hosted by Adriaan Dokter and Judy Shamoun-Baranes, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The final report can be downloaded here.

2015

 

Identification of Biological Signals with Radar (18-24 October, Switzerland)

This STSM was carried out by Dr. Sevgi Zübeyde Gürbüz from the TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Department of Electrical-Electronics Engineering.  It was hosted by Dr. Felix Liechti from the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland.  The goal of this work was to develop novel machine learning algorithms for the automatic classification of bird radar signatures.  Several classifiers were tested as well as some novel features.  Information theory was used to rank features and identify those most significant for classification.  The final report can be downloaded here.

Integrate a bird algorithm into the BALTRAD toolbox (11 – 16 October, Sweden)
This STSM was carried out by Adriaan Dokter from the University of Amsterdam and Hidde Leijnse from KNMI, the Netherlands and hosted by Günther Haase and Anders Henja at SMHI, Sweden. The final report can be found here.

GIS analysis of radar tracks during fall migration in Southern Sweden (5-18 October, Sweden)
This STSM was carried out by Martina Scacco from Ornis Italica, Italy and hosted by Johan Bäckman and Cecilia Nilsson at the University of Lund, Sweden. The final report can be downloaded here.

Radar Calibration in Spain: Comparison of Ornithological and Weather During the Autumn 2014 Bird Migration Season (6-20 July, Spain)
This STSM was carried out by Viviana Stanzione, Italy and hosted by Gonzalo Muñoz at the University of Cadiz, Spain. The final report can be downloaded here.

Twilight ascents of common swifts: a comparative analysis (13-24 July, Sweden)
This STSM was carried out by Adriaan Dokter, from the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), in collaboration with dr. Cecilia Nilsson of the Evolutionary Ecology department, Lund University. The aim of the STSM was to obtain more insight in the nocturnal flight behaviour of Common Swifts at dusk and dawn. An earlier study revealed that during twilight these birds ascend to high altitude, for reasons that are not yet understood. We used and analysed individual tracks of birds obtained with the tracking radar on top of the ecology building in Lund, and also investigated how the ascents change in different light conditions, using weather radars at more northern latitudes in Sweden. The final report can be downloaded here.

Next generation bird migration flow visualization (8-12 June, NL)
This STSM was carried out by Peter Desmet and Bart Aelterman from the LifeWatch team at the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) in Belgium.  They will join the research group of Computational Geo-Ecology at the University of Amsterdam and work on the next generation of the bird migration flow visualization developed during their STSM in 2014.  The final reports can be found here: STSM report Desmet, STSM Report Aelterman.  This STSM is part of the ongoing activities of working group 3

The effects of meteorological conditions on diurnal insect migration studied using vertical looking radar and numeric atmospheric simulations (UK)
This STSM was carried out by Nir Sapir, from the University of Haifa, Israel and hosted by Jason Chapman at Rothamsted Research, UK. The final report can be downloaded here.

The effects of atmospheric conditions on the flight of soaring migrants in Italy recorded by radar (Israel)
This STSM was carried out by Paolo Becciu from Ornis italica, Italy and hosted by Nir Sapir, from the University of Haifa, Israel. The final report can be downloaded here.

Inter-calibration of Pencil Beam radar data of birds in Germany and Denmark (Fehmarnbelt) with the Weather Radar stations in Stevns, DK, Rostock and Hamburg (both Germany) – 2009 and 2010. (Switzerland)
This STSM was carried out by Denise Ada and hosted by Felix Liechti at the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Switzerland. The final report can be downloaded here.

Analysis of wind profiler data in the context of bird migration

These STSMs were performed by Mercedes Maruri (Basque Meteorology Agency, Spain) and Nadja Weisshaupt (Aranzadi, Society of Sciences, Spain) to analyse data from a Spanish radar wind profiler situated at the Bay of Biscay to study bird echo signatures on time series level. It was hosted by Volker Lehmann from the Lindenberg Meteorological Observatory, Germany. The final report can be downloaded here

2014

Difference and similarity in bird and insect migration: preliminary investigations (27 October – 5 November, UK)
This STSM has been carry out by Viviana Stanzione, member of the NGO Ornis Italica (Rome), in collaboration with Dr. Jason Chapman leader of the Insect Migration group at Rothamsted Research (Harpenden). The aim of this STSM is to compare data obtained with the insect radar and that with a fixed-beam radar operating at Rothamsted during the same migration period. The final report can be downloaded here.

5-18 September, UK
Curtis Wood, from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, worked with Jason Chapman and others at Rothamsted Research, UK. The aim of the STSM is to improve the operational capabilities of vertically-pointing insect-detecting radars, with an emphasis on visualization of insect data. The final report can be downloaded here .

Migration flow visualization (2-6 June, The Netherlands)
During this STSM three people from the LifeWatch team at the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) in Belgium join at the research group of Computational Geo-Ecology at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). The goal of this STSM is to 1) develop a usable case study dataset for bird migration visualizations, 2) to develop a prototype of a flow visualization based on this dataset, and 3) to document the process in function of a data challenge to be organized in 2015.  This STSM is part of working group 3
For results of this STSM including the interactive bird migration flow visualization go here. The final report can be downloaded here.

This visualizaiton was highlighted in Nature. Zastrow M, 2015. Data visualization: Science on the map. Nature 519:119-120.