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Spend a virtual Christmas in the Seychelles with our Junior Research Fellow

21 December 2017

Junior Research Fellow Dr Annette Fayet left Oxford for Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles last weekend, to spend five weeks tracking the rare and fast-declining red-tailed tropicbird. She raised the funds for this trip right at the last minute from friends, family, fellow researchers and Old Members using the College's new crowdfunding platform. The platform enabled her to explain her planned research in great detail and then share that widely through social media channels to raise funds. 

Many people supported her and will now be able to follow her experiences over the holiday season via a specially created Twitter account. It has taken four days to get to Aldabra, the world’s second largest coral atoll, part of the Outer Seychelles in the midst of the Indian Ocean, as Dr Fayet has taken a very large amount of specialist equipment with her.

She is using the @AldabraSeabirds Twitter account from Aldabra – do take a look at the views and the very special neighbours, and check back for regular updates. 

Dr Fayet says 'During a 5 week expedition from mid-December 2017 on Aldabra, I will deploy miniature GPS loggers and immersion loggers on 20 red-tailed tropicbirds and 20 white-tailed tropicbirds (their close cousins who are doing well and will be studied for comparison), tracking their detailed movements over several weeks. The combination of GPS and immersion data, once analysed with advanced analytical techniques called “machine learning”, will allow me to know exactly where each bird flies, feeds or rests, and how much effort they spend finding food. I will match this with the growth rate and survival success of their chicks. This research will have an important scientific and conservation impact for tropical seabirds. Thank you to those who have enabled my trip, I look forward to sharing my research with you.'

The College is very grateful to everyone who has supported this research. We hope you enjoy your virtual trip to this wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site and that Dr Fayet’s research helps us to understand how to halt the decline in red-tailed tropicbirds.