Sondra Turjeman

Sondra Turjeman's picture
PhD Student
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

I am a PhD student in the Movement Ecology Lab. I study the white stork, Ciconia ciconia, and my research focuses on reproductive patterns in the species as reconstructed genetically. My goals are to check for genetic monogamy within the species and in the absence of monogamy, to examine ecological patterns of the behavior. This research will serve as a measure for the usefulness of (previous) observational studies in understanding mating patterns in this species and will allow for a better understanding of impacts of various ecological factors on reproductive behaviors. Additionally, I am working on a longitudinal study to determine how breeding success in previous years affects breeding success, mate choice, nest site fidelity, and monogamy.

Aside from my genetic research, I manage research in the Golan Heights where three to five pairs of storks breed annually. This observational work, ringing, and tagging is part of a broader study on the storks with Shay Rotics (PhD student, Movement Ecology Lab) and a team of German researchers as part of the Deutsche-Israel Program. While my main research interest is to understand how pre-flight behavior (movements in the nest) affects flight-learning, improvement, and survival, we are also interested in stabilizing and increasing the Golan Heights breeding population. To this end, we have mounted nest platforms throughout the area in hopes of encouraging immigration to the population.