Bird Migration Lab – University of Copenhagen

Biodiversity > Bird Migration Lab


Welcome to the MATCH project: Migration in a changing world

Self-powered, fast and long-distance movement enables migratory birds to ultimately track seasonal changes across the rotating earth. Difficulties in following migrating birds over longer distances, have limited our knowledge of drivers and control of the ecological and evolutionary important phenomenon of migration.

Using satellite-based tracking systems, we study how small, long-distance migrants are able to ensure arrival to suitable winter and stopover grounds at the appropriate time of the year.

The ultimate goal is being able to predict migrants' capability to cope with climate change. This include studying important ecological phenomena such as seasonal carry-over effects and migratory connectivity as well as the inherited migration program, focussing on consistency and precision, interaction between the inherited program and external cues, navigational abilities and constraints posed on migrants.

The 4-year project is funded through a Sapere Aude: DFF-Starting Grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research (DFF).

We are part of the DG Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate Change at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen



Most recent publications:

Klitgaard K, Højgaard J, Isbrand A, Madsen JJ, Thorup K, Bødker R (2019) Screening for multiple tick-borne pathogens in Ixodes ricinus ticks from birds in Denmark during spring and autumn migration seasons. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases 10: 546-552.

Vega ML, Willemoes M, Arizaga J, Onrubia A, Cuenca D, Alonso, D, Torralvo C, Tøttrup AP, Thorup K (2019) Migration strategies in southern European breeding birds. Ardeola 66: 51-64.

Pedersen L, Thorup K, Tøttrup AP (2019) Annual GPS tracking reveals aberrant wintering area in a long-distance migratory songbird. J Orn 160: 265-270

Lerche-Jørgensen M, Korner-Nievergelt F, Tøttrup AP, Willemoes M, Thorup K (2018) Early migrating males do pay a survival cost. Ecol Evol 8:11434-11449

Full publication list