Matt represented the Thorne Lab at the 45th annual Pacific Seabird Group conference this February in La Paz, Mexico. Matt presented his work in the Foraging Ecology session where he discussed his results from his Master’s thesis on differences in herring gull foraging ecology and microbial communities. Matt’s work has demonstrated that herring gulls exhibit significant within- and across-colony differences in foraging parameters. In addition, microbiome analyses have shown that herring gull microbial communities show high alpha diversity across colonies, and that gulls in all colonies carry clinically important bacteria. While not attending talks and presenting his work, Matt explored the local ecosystems of La Paz and went birding with collaborator and committee member Dick Veit. Matt also had the unique chance to visit a colony of breeding magnificent frigatebirds and see some newly born individuals up close.

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