Russian biologist Dr. Nikita Chernetsov, a senior research fellow with the Rybachy Biological Station on the Baltic Sea, presented his research on migratory birds to students and faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi on Oct. 2, 2009.
The presentation was part of the Department of Biological Sciences Friday Seminar Program and focused on the navigation of migrating birds.
Chernetsov is visiting the university for three months to work with the Southern Miss Migratory Bird Research Group (MBRG) headed by Dr. Frank Moore, University Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. The MBRG focuses on physiology, behavior, and ecology of migratory birds during their travels between breeding and wintering grounds.
“Having Dr. Chernetsov visit and present his research is a wonderful win/win situation,” said Moore. “Nikita gains first-hand experience with our university and the work we are doing here in Mississippi while our students our exposed to because the international nature and excitement of science.”
Chernetsov studies the biology of migratory birds at Rybachy, including the ability of birds to navigate over thousands of miles during migratory journeys. While at Southern Miss, he will participate in field work with MBRG researchers and share his expertise.
Chernetsov said he was aware of Moore’s extensive research and wanted to work with his team. “I wanted to get an idea of what was being done in the Western Hemisphere and working with Dr. Moore at USM was my first choice of sites in the United States,” said Chernetsov.
Rybachy Biological Station is part of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Science and is located on the Cornish Spit of the Baltic Sea. It is one of the world's first ornithological stations where bird migration has been studied since 1901.
“My research on migratory birds in Russia is applicable to the ongoing research that Dr. Moore and his students are doing here in Mississippi,” said Chernetsov. “The approach that I use to conduct my research is very similar to that of Dr. Moore. In Russia we are building on the research done by Professor Moore and his coworkers.”
Chernetsov said understanding migratory bird patterns is important to wildlife conservation, noting that, “we need to know more about the ecology and behavior of birds during migration in order to conserve them more efficiently.”
He added that knowledge of migratory bird patterns could be used in the decision-making process for commercial development.
“Knowing about migratory patterns could aid in selection of sites for development such as wind farms along coastal areas,” said Chernetsov. “You might be able to learn if a site scheduled for development will have serious consequences for migratory birds or if the birds can use an alternate site.”
For more information about the Southern Miss Migratory Bird Research Group or Chernetsov’s visit, contact the Department of Biological Sciences at 601-266-4748 or visit http://www.usm.edu/mbrg
Russian biologist Dr. Nikita Chernetsov presented his research on migratory birds to students and faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi. (Submitted photo)
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