Avian parasitology on a migratory flyway - Course Schedule

 

Day 1: Tel-Hai Campus

10:00 – 11:00 – gathering at Tel Hai, greetings, introductions, and a short preview of the course schedule and objectives (A. Hund, A. Rojas, Y. Vortman) 

11:00 – 11:45 Avian Parasitology: a general review (A. Hund)

11:45 – 12:30 Migratory life history, constraints, and consequences, morphological correlations with migration  (Y. Vortman)

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:15 Breeding along a migratory flyway, differences between migrant and resident populations (Y. Vortman)

14:30 – 16:00 General introduction to Avian ectoparasites and their relation with avian behavior, ecology, and evolution (A. Hund)

16:00 – 17:30 General introduction to Avian endo-parasites and their relation with avian ecology and evolution (A. Rojas)

17:30 – 18:00 Coffee Break

19:00 – 21:00 Dinner, socializing and wine tasting (Courtesy of Tel - Hai's research winery)  

 

Day 2: Hula Valley fieldwork

6:00 AM – 10:00 AM Ringing station early morning – mist-netting, how to count and sample ectoparasites and endoparasites and collect samples for immune assays – working mainly with migrating species and collecting reed warblers for night migratory restlessness experiment (A. Hund, A. Rojas, Y. Vortman).

11:00 - 12:00 Return to the lab to spin plasma samples, stain slides, and deal with reed warblers. 

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch break at Hula Research Center

13:00 – 14:00 (Lecture) Parasites and physiology with emphasis on migration (A. Rojas) 

14:00 – 17:00 Nest parasites sampling – how to collect samples from different nests and experimentally manipulate parasites in nests – kingfisher burrows, kestrel, barn owl, barn swallow, and house sparrow nest boxes. Put some collected nests in burlese funnels overnight to sample parasites (A. Hund, A. Rojas, Y. Vortman).

17:00 – 17:30 Coffee Break

17:30 – 19:00 Migratory restlessness experiment with reed warblers (A. Rojas)

19:00 – 21:00 Social campfire and picnic on site

 

Day 3:

6:00 AM – 11:30 AM Early morning sample collection – mist-netting house sparrows (residents) and in a parallel ringing station – sampling migrants, and finishing migratory restlessness experiment. Collect birds for eco-immunology assays (house sparrows?) (students rotate through different options) (A. Hund, A. Rojas, Y. Vortman).

11:30 – 12:00 Bus to Tel Hai

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch break at Tel Hai

13:30 – 18:00 – lab – microscopy – endoparasite, ectoparasite, and immune identification and quantifying methods, burlese funnel samples, natural antibody assay, etc. (A. Rojas, A. Hund)

18:00 – 18:30 coffee break

18:30 – 19:30 (Lecture) Divergent sexual traits signal relevant information about local parasites (A. Hund)

 

Day 4: 

8:00 – 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 12:30 – lab – microscopy – endoparasite, ectoparasite, and immune identification and quantifying methods, burlese funnel samples, natural antibody assay (A. Rojas, A. Hund)

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch break at Tel Hai

14:00 – 15:00 Influence of parasites and immunity on stopover decisions (A. Rojas).

15:00 – 16:00 New raptor parasites – a recent discovery (MD-Vet. R. Valency - guest lecturer).

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break 

16:30  – 18:30 Ecoimmunology wing web assay, talk about ELISA as a method

18:30  – 20:00 Dinner

20:00 – 22:00 Catching roosting barn swallows (A. Hund, A. Rojas, Y. Vortman) 

 

Day 5 –At Tel Hai:

8:00 - 9:00 Breakfast

9:00 – 11:00 Experimental design and working with parasite data (Analysis)

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30 Computer Lab (work through example datasets and code, or their own data, maybe some data from the course)

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 15:00 Computer Lab (work through example datasets and code, or their own data, maybe some data from the course)

15:00 – 16:00 Avian immunity and an overview of questions in eco-immunology

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:30 Finish Wing Web assay and eco-immunology techniques (24 hours later)

17:30 – 18:30 Lecture on Epidemiology (Guest lecture, Prof. Jacob Koella)

18:30 – 19:30 Emerging infectious diseases, birds and human health

19:30 – 22:00 Social BBQ or similar including good wine and beers

 

Day 6:

6:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Optional morning banding session (for additional practice, backup in case of bad weather, and to see more cool birds). 

10:00 – 11:00: Final words, group photo

11:00 – 12:00: Optional Individual Meetings

13:00 – 16:00: Optional Individual Meetings

 

After the Course: (for credit)

-Complete course evaluation

-Students have 1 month to either

1) complete an online exam

2) submit a parasite themed grant proposal which we will provide comments on

 

 

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