Andre van Tonder
I recently returned from the 74th expedition to Marion Island as a sealer (what an experience!) and am currently working on an MSc with a focus on the isotopic description of fish prey from the island. The purpose of this is to serve as potential source signatures for dietary models of the island’s marine predators. And also to try see how individual fishes’ ecology affect their isotopic signatures, and how that variation propagates to the population’s niche width, to eventually affect predators’ diet models. My previous work, Honours degree (2016), involved isotopic description of giant warty squid, Kondakovia longimana, remains found around grey-headed albatross nests, and volunteering and mentorship with the MIMMP in my second and third years (2014-2015). I also often help the Conservation Ecology Research Unit with bird surveys in restoring forests in Richard’s Bay.
Although my current focus is primarily isotopic modelling, I hope to learn new sets of techniques and skills, particularly genetic techniques and mathematical and statistical skills, and apply it to various species in various ecosystems, with a career as quantitative biologist in mind.