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Fredrik Christiansen

Assistant Professor, Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies, Denmark and Murdoch University, Australia.

During his AIAS-COFUND fellowship Assistant Professor Fredrik Christiansen will be working on the project 'Understanding the population consequences of human disturbance on baleen whales'.



Project description

The need for managing the effects of human disturbance on marine mammals, including baleen whales, is becoming increasingly important as exposure of marine mammals to human activities (e.g. shipping, fisheries, renewable energy and oil and gas exploration) are rapidly intensifying globally. Human disturbance has been shown to have population level consequences for the targeted populations, however the underlying mechanisms of how these effects arise remain unknown. With this AIAS-COFUND fellowship, I aim to develop a bioenergetic model to predict the population consequences of disturbance on baleen whales by addressing the following questions: a) how do individual behaviours relate to energy intake and cost? b) how does seasonal behavioural patterns of individuals relate to their body condition? c) how does the body condition of individuals relate to their survival and reproduction? d) how does the survival and reproduction of individual whales influence population growth and dynamics? An understanding of the relationship between behaviour and population dynamics will make it possible to predict population consequences of disturbance on baleen whales, which will benefit wildlife managers. 

Short bio

I am an ecophysiologist interested in the relationship between animal behaviour, bioenergetics and population dynamics, with an emphasis on cetaceans. I am interested in how behavioural changes, caused by human disturbance can influence the amount of energy that animal acquires and spends, and how this influences their body condition and ultimately survival and reproduction. My research hence spans a number of research areas, including behavioural ecology, physiology, bioenergetics and reproductive biology.

Project title:

Understanding the population consequences of human disturbance on baleen whales

Area of research:

Marine ecophysiology

Fellowship period:

01 Feb 2019 – 31 Jan 2022

Curriculum Vitae

Selected Publications

Contact information on Fredrik Christiansen