CW405 Biological Sciences Center
University of Alberta
Canada, T6G 2E9
Movement is essential for species to survive. It allows individuals to disperse, find food, find mates, and escape predators. Although movement is important to individuals, it comes at a certain cost, and many species have evolved movement strategies that maximize the net benefits (benefits – costs).
My research focuses on the movement strategies polar bears use to find food and to cope with the dynamic movement of the sea ice they live on. My specific goals are to identify:
1) whether polar bears compensate for ice movement, if they do so, at what temporal scale, and whether the expected increase in ice movement is likely to impact polar bears’ movement;
2) what searching strategy polar bear use to find prey;
3) whether the large home range size of polar bears is a result of sparse prey, prey variability, or ice movement;
4) whether the recent declines in the body condition of polar bears can be partially explained by an increase in movement, and which part of the foraging behaviour has been impacted by the changes in ice regimes associated with climate change.
Most of my work will be based on movement models. These models will be state-space models that incorporate both the bear movement behaviour and the ice movement. The movement data of polar bears is collected through satellite telemetry.
For my PhD, I'm co-supervised by Drs. Andrew Derocher (http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/faculty/andrew_derocher) & Mark Lewis (http://www.math.ualberta.ca/~mlewis/).
For my MSc I have developed a photo-identification method for narwhals and wrote a computer program to accelerate the identification process. I was supervised by Dr. Hal Whitehead (http://whitelab.biology.dal.ca/index.html) at Dalhousie University and this work was done in close collaboration with Marianne Marcoux (http://nrs-staff.mcgill.ca/humphries/mariannemarcoux.htm) from McGill University.
For my BSc honour project I also worked on the photo-identification method, but with long-finned pilot whales. I also had the opportunity to participate in a variety of research projects, such as behavioural work on sperm whales and little-brown bats.
Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, M.M. Humphries (In Press). Variability and context-specificity of narwhal (Monodon monoceros) whistles and pulsed calls. Marine Mammal Science
Auger-Méthé, M., C.C. St. Clair, M.A. Lewis, A.E. Derocher (2011). Sampling rate and misidentification of Lévy and non-Lévy movement paths: Comment. Ecology 92: 1699-1701
Auger-Méthé, M., M. Marcoux, H. Whitehead (2011). Computer-assisted photo-identification of narwhals. Arctic 64: 342-352
Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, E. Chmelnitsky, S. Ferguson, M.M. Humphries (2011). Local passive acoustic monitoring of narwhal presence in the Canadian Arctic: a pilot project. Arctic 64:307-316
Marcoux, M., G. Larocque, M. Auger-Méthé, P. Dutilleul, M.M. Humphries (2010). Statistical analysis of animal observations and associated marks distributed in time using Ripley’s functions. Animal Behaviour 80: 329-337
Auger-Méthé, M., M. Marcoux, and H. Whitehead (2010). Nicks and notches of the dorsal ridge: promising mark types for the photo-identification of narwhals. Marine Mammal Science 26: 663-678
Marcoux, M., M. Auger-Méthé, and M.M. Humphries (2009). Encounter frequencies and grouping patterns of narwhal in Koluktoo Bay, Baffin Island. Polar Biology 32: 1705-1716
Auger-Méthé, M. and H. Whitehead (2007). The use of natural markings in studies of long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala melas). Marine Mammal Science 23: 77-93
Last Modified:2012-01-23 |