Chemical communication in petrel seabirds

Jerome Mardon

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Chemical communication, the transfer of information from an emitter to a receiver via molecular signals, occurs in all animal phyla. Although such processes have been largely overlooked in birds, recent results suggest that chemical signals may play a more significant role than previously assumed in the social lives of birds. Procellariiform seabirds, and burrow-nesting petrels in particular, are appropriate models to investigate these questions. They indeed possess a well-developed olfactory anatomy, a noticeable musky scent and a life-history which favours the evolution of olfactorymediated social behaviours (Chapter1). We have explored the role of chemical signals in the ecology of the blue petrel (Halobaena caerulea), a burrow-nesting seabird from the Subantarctic Ocean, using existing and innovative methods from field ornithology, analytical chemistry and multivariate statistics (Chapter 2).
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010


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