speaker: Dr Franziska Broell
(Dalhousie University, Dept. of Oceanography)
room: Gatty Lecture Theatre
see also: additional details
Micro-accelerometer tags are a novel technology used to remotely monitor (aquatic) animals in the wild and provide data that can link physiological and ecological processes in the context of movement. One of the challenges with this technology is how accelerometer data can be linked to complex information on fish locomotion and behaviour that are relevant for advancing the management of commercially and recreationally valued species. This talk will offer an introduction on accelerometer sensors and the types of data that can be collected and their respective limitations. Based on a series of controlled-environment and field experiments we developed a library of automated signal-processing algorithms that relate acceleration signals to rates of activity, swimming speed, size-at-time and behavioural states in a variety of fish species. The algorithms are efficient in extracting behaviour (feeding, escape, swimming) relevant to energy budgets as well as behaviour associated with spawning and courtship and parasite dislodging while being independent of animal size or tag placement. This presentation will further outline how acceleration data can be compromised due to low rates of tag sampling frequency currently employed as well as significant behavioural changes caused by tagging and handling stress. The results can be applied to various animal species to advance ecological and physiological theory.