Sébastien Descamps

Norsk Polarinstitutt

Aktuelle aktiviteter

2011-2014: Response of Antarctic seabirds to a changing environment: From oceanographic conditions to foraging behaviour and demography

collaboration between NPI (S. Descamps, P.I., and Ø. Varpe), NINA (P. Fauchald and T. Tveraa), UiT (N.G. Yoccoz), CEBC-CNRS (H. Weimerskirch and Y. Cherel), Windsor University (O.P. Love) and IPHC-CNRS (Y. Ropert-Couderc)

project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NARE)

The main goal of this project is to understand the interactions between changes in oceanographic conditions (and in particular in sea-ice dynamics) and Antarctic seabird foraging, and their effects on seabird demography and population dynamics. Our project takes place in the Svarthamaren Antartic petrel colony (Tor station), accessible from the Troll research station. This colony is the largest known inland seabird colony on the Antarctic continent and constitutes a large portion of the world population of Antarctic petrels.

2011-2012: The response of arctic and alpine bird communities to climate change

collaboration between NPI (S. Descamps) and LECA-CNRS (S. Lavergne)

project funded by the Norwegian Research Council (AURORA)

Arctic and alpine ecosystems will be among the most severely affected under a warming climate. A good understanding of the consequences of climate change on arctic and alpine species coexistence and persistence is thus of paramount importance and urgently needed. Using large data sets on bird communities, population trends and life-histories in both the French Alps and the Svalbard archipelago, as well as a recently developed phylogeny of European birds and up-to-date niche modeling methodologies, we will study the response of Arctic and Alpine avifauna to a warming world. Our work will also aim at determining how phylogenetic relatedness and ecological similarity among species affect their coexistence, and how evolutionary trade-offs between traits can affect, and eventually impede, bird response to climate change.

2010-2015: SEAPOP (www.seapop.no) - Seabird mapping and monitoring on Spitsbergen

project funded by the the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and the Norwegian Oil Industry Association.

SEAPOP (SEAbird POPulations) is a new and long-term monitoring and mapping programme for Norwegian seabirds that was established in 2005. The programme represents a new initiative for these activities in Norway, Svalbard and adjacent sea areas, and will provide and maintain base-line knowledge of seabirds for an improved management of this marine environment. The data analyses aim to develop further models of seabird distribution and population dynamics using different environmental parameters, and to explore the degree of covariation across different sites and species. This knowledge is urgently needed to distinguish human influences from those caused by natural variation.


2010-2014: Avian cholera in the Arctic: threats and opportunities

collaboration with Carleton University (M. Forbes, P.I.), Environment Canada (G. Gilchrist, C. Soos), UQAR (J. Bêty) and Windsor University (O.P. Love)

co-supervision of Loreleï Guéry (Ph.D. candidate) with J. Bêty (UQAR, Canada)


2010- : Arctic Peregrine Falcon population dynamics

collaboration with University of Alberta (A. Franke, P.I.), UQAR (J. Bêty) and Laval University (J.-F. Therrien)



2010- : research scientist at the Norwegian Polar Institute

2007-2010: post-doctoral fellow (Carleton University, Ottawa / Environment Canada)

2002-2006: Ph.D. candidate (Université Lyon I, France / Université du Québec à Rimouski)

1999-2001: field biologist for the french polar institute

Interesser og spesialfelt

Population dynamics, demography, life-history strategies, individual heterogeneity, climate change and seabirds.