Martyna Syposz publishes paper on the effects of light pollution on seabirds

thermal picture of a bird.

St Cross alumna Martyna Syposz (DPhil Zoology, 2017) is a co-author of a new paper about the effects of light pollution on Manx shearwaters - burrow-nesting seabirds. The study has been published in Scientific Reports.

The study provides first experimental evidence that adult shearwaters are repelled by light pollution.

Using a thermal camera to record flying adult seabirds during the night and experimentally introduced different duration, colour and intensity of light, the researchers determined the number of flying birds above their colony. 

Their findings show that adult shearwaters, unlike their young, are repelled by light pollution. Stronger light intensity and longer durations of light resulted in fewer counted birds. Seabirds avoided light of blue, green and white colour similarly, but they were not repelled by the red light used in the experiment.

manx shearwater bird in infro red light


Header image: Joe Wynn