Bob Gill

In 2015, I became a ‘pensioner’ following a 40-year-long career directing shorebird research programs in Alaska, initially through the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and later the U.S. Geological Survey’s Alaska Science Center. It was in 1991, at a symposium in Quito, Ecuador, that I first met Theunis, and from which ensued a rich personal and professional collaborative effort into the realm of extreme endurance migration by shorebirds, particularly among the Numeniini. Field work these day is at a minimum, but writing and editing keep my hand in the game.

Detailed histories of research efforts, staff, collaborators, and products can be found on the USGS website (being updated).

The important discovery of the longest non-stop oceanic flight in birds, the flight of Bar-tailed Godwits from Alaska to New Zealand, was the result of my UGSG-based research together with Global Flyway Network researchers of team Piersma. The paper was published in 2009 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B; below a reproduction of the tracks.


Southward flight tracks of nine Bar-tailed Godwits fitted with satellite transmitters (PTTs) during 2006 and 2007 (Gill et al. 2009, Proc B)