Bird migration
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    Broad front migration across Switzerland

    Much research efforts aim to establish maps and predictions of migratory flows to reduce collision risks of birds with human made structures (wind farms, bridges, etc). This research project aims to investigate the spatio-temporal correlation in migration intensity across Switzerland.

    During the master thesis, the student will describe the dynamics of broad-front migrations over the Swiss plateau, using data collected in 2017 by four radars that monitored migratory fluxes of birds over Sempach, Winterthur, Grenchen and Geneva. The radar can classify the bird echoes into several groups. The student will investigate differences in migration intensity, species composition and flight behaviour (ground speed and flight direction) and relate it to wind conditions and other weather variables. The results will demonstrate the feasibility to inform predictive models of migration intensity using a network of operating dedicated bird radar.


    The candidate should have good computer skills, strong interest in modelling and be willing to get familiar with R-programming.

    Contact and further information

    Swiss Ornithological Institute
    Dr. Baptiste Schmid
    Seerose 1
    CH-6204 Sempach
    Tel: +41 41 462 97 72