Rienk Fokkema

I am a postdoctoral researcher in Team Piersma, based at the Conservation Ecology Group at the University of Groningen. During the spring of 2020, I had the pleasure of joining the team as a field-assistant and learning more about the Black-tailed Godwits (Limosa limosa limosa) breeding in Southwest-Friesland, the Netherlands. I really liked working with the godwits, and the conservationists and volunteers involved and I was very happy that I was offered a postdoc position in the new Godwit Landscapes Project in December 2020. Together with Dr. Eldar Rakhimberdiev & Marie Stessens I am part of the demography team. One of our main goals is understanding how land management affects population parameters and getting a handle on what types of conservation work and which do not. A special focus of my demographic research is on quantifying the predator landscape of the godwits and the consequences for their breeding success. To this end we employ predator counts and also use of a large network of camera traps in our study area both in a random grid as well as at the nests of breeding godwits.

I have a background in ecology & evolution and specifically in life-history theory. My PhD at the University of Groningen was focussed on quantifying the trade-off between current and future reproduction and whether such costs may be mediated through the competitive environment. Specifically, using a range of field experiments in a nestbox population of Great tits (Parus major), I quantified if reproductive effort negatively affected parental competitive ability for vital resources in later life. After my PhD, I did a postdoc at the University of Bielefeld, Germany where I focussed on further understanding how individuals can actively influence their own environment by their characteristics and decisions and thereby the selective pressures they experience.

For an overview of my publications, see my researchgate page