My interest in nature, and birds in particular, dates back to my youth in Europe. However, since I have been living in Vanuatu, it has taken a much more formal shape through research opportunities and collaborations with local communities, Community Conservation Areas, Vanuatu government agencies and international organizations such as BirdLife.
While I am broadly interested in documenting the general bird ecology of Vanuatu, my current interest focuses on the ethnobiology and cultural significance of birds in the various linguistic communities of our country, including local language names and folk taxonomy.
Documenting Vanuatu birds
You can find my bird observations, photos and a large database of recordings on the following platforms:
- My eBird profile with extensive observations of Vanuatu birds and some records of my excursions elsewhere around the world
- My Macaulay Library contributions with photos and recordings of birds of Vanuatu and the world
- My xeno-canto profile with a large collection recordings of Vanuatu birds, a few of the recordings or vocalizations may be the first to be published online
Part of my ethno-ornithological efforts can be seen in OrnitO, the mobile birding field guide I co-created. It contains names of Vanuatu birds in over two dozen local languages, a documentation effort I am still continuing with numerous local communities. Local language names of birds from many other places in the South Pacific have been included in collaboration with the Société Calédonienne d’Ornithologie (New Caledonia) and BirdLife partners in Fiji.
Besides studying birds as a part of specific research projects, I regularly participate in global birding events such as The Cornell Lab Global Big Day, the Global Bird weekend and the Wader Conservation World Watch contributing sightings from Vanuatu. I like to make use of such events to raise awareness about bird conservation and citizen science involvement among my students and local community members. If you live in Vanuatu, check out Vanuatu Briding, an informal group of local birders and ornithologists of which I am the coordinator. It is a place to share observations, ask for help with identification or organizing birding trips, and meet people who love Vanuatu’s birds and nature.
When time permits, I contribute to the community by helping to identify South Pacific and European insular birds on iNaturalist.