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Graduate Research Fellow: Sarah Guitart

Sarah Guitart, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Dept of Environmental Conservation

Project: Shifting Relationships Within the Gulf of Maine: Exploring Tern Foraging Plasticity and the Impact of Prey Species on Tern Productivity

Project Summary: Field work will be based in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, and focus on two tern species: the Common tern and the federally and state-listed Roseate tern. My research goals are to 1) collect data on tern chick provisioning and compare contemporary diet to data collected in 1971 and the early 1990s and 2) evaluate how deploying trail cameras compares to the standard practice of in-person provisioning monitoring. Data and outcomes from this analysis will be shared with wildlife managers and partners through the northeast region.

Bio: My interest in seabird ecology began as a Marine Science undergraduate with the Boston University Marine Program. After graduating in 2013, I sought out first-hand knowledge in wildlife monitoring, working in incredible ecosystems from the Gulf of Maine to the Bering Sea. These experiences taught me invaluable skills as a field researcher and inspired me to continue working alongside dedicated and impassioned biologists. The Massachusetts Sea Grant Graduate Research Fellowship provides not only the opportunity to grow as an early-career scientist, but to make connections and contribute to the Massachusetts marine science and wildlife community. I’m incredibly excited to begin my journey as a Fellow with my advisor, Dr. Michelle Staudinger, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center.