Tamar Lok

I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Coastal Systems group of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ). I have a keen interest in understanding the causes and demographic consequences of (individual) variation in habitat choice and migration strategies of coastal migrants.

During my PhD, I studied the demographic consequences of individual variation in migration strategies of Spoonbills. I found that Spoonbills are highly faithful to their wintering sites, and that Spoonbills wintering in Europe had higher survival and bred earlier than Spoonbills wintering south in West Africa. While historically, most Spoonbills wintered in West Africa, more and more Spoonbills now decide to winter in Europe. However, this shift in wintering distribution is slower than optimal, suggesting constraints in the evolution of new migratory routines.

During my first postdoc, I analyzed the Team Piersma datasets of Red Knots, Great Knots and Bar-tailed Godwits in the East-Asian Australasian Flyway to study the effects of habitat destruction along the Yellow Sea on seasonal survival of these long-distance migrating shorebird species.

In 2015, I was awarded a Rubicon fellowship to join the research group of Olivier Gimenez and Roger Pradel at the Centre for Evolutionary and Functional Ecology (CEFE) in Montpellier (France). Here I learnt how to build integrated population models in a Bayesian framework, with the aim to integrate count, resighting and tracking data to improve the estimation of timing and habitat use during migration, survival and population sizes of migratory birds, using Red Knots and Eurasian Spoonbills as case studies.

My current research at NIOZ focuses on the role of early life experience in shaping individual variation in habitat site choice and migration strategies of Eurasian Spoonbills. To this aim, I individually follow juvenile spoonbills and their parents through a combination of colour-banding and high-resolution tracking techniques using the UvA Bird Tracking System and collect data on the (social) environment experienced by these juveniles.

For an overview of and links to my publications and more details about my research, see my personal website, ResearchGate and Google Scholar.