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Thomas Cansse

Thomas Cansse

Drs. Thomas Cansse
Terrestrial Ecology Unit
Department of Biology
Ghent University
K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35
9000 Gent Belgium


The Black-faced cormorant (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) is an Australian endemic species occurring along the southern coasts of Australia and Tasmania. Previously, only a couple of studies have focussed on this species and, as a result of this, our understanding of the ecology of this species is very limited. Black-faced cormorants are listed as least-concern on the IUCN red list. However, due to their remote nesting sites, no recent population size estimates or trends are available. The species is a winter breeder in the majority of the known breeding colonies. While the underlying reasons for this behaviour are currently not known, it could make the species vulnerable to changing weather patterns as a result of climate change. 

During my PhD, I will focus on the foraging ecology of Black-faced cormorants breeding on Notch Island, Victoria. In order to do this, I will use a combination of biologging devices (time-depth recorders and GPS-loggers), prey regurgitates and stable isotope analysis. Specifically, I aim to use this data to study diet, diving behaviour, habitat use within the breeding season, and post-breeding dispersal. This information will contribute to a better understanding of the species, which could help to safeguard the species from future environmental changes.

Publication list (UGent affiliations only)