Search

Research Associates

Dr Lorien Pichegru

Lorien Pichegru

Dr Lorien Pichegru
PhD (Strasbourg, France)

John Day Building: 2.15

Tel: +27 (0)21 650 3619
Fax: +27 (0)21 650 3295

Email: lorien.pichegru@uct.ac.za

Lorien’s research focuses on seabird foraging ecology and life history traits in relation to prey availability and local competition with industrial fisheries. She uses animal-borne miniaturized recorders such as GPS recorders combined with pressure sensors, cameras, etc, to determine the at-sea behaviour of several species of seabirds endemic to South Africa, all threatened with extinction. As part of the Island Closure Task Team (Department of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries) she is currently investigating whether the recent drastic decreases in African penguin numbers, now Endangered, could be reduced by excluding fishing from penguin foraging areas. She wishes to gain an understanding of penguin-prey interaction in relation to ocean-physical processes to optimize the use of the marine resources by fisheries and marine predators and to help refine conservation strategies. She monitors penguin colonies in Algoa Bay, off Port Elizabeth, with the extensive help of many students and colleagues as well as rangers from South African National Parks.

Lorien obtained her PhD from the University of Strasbourg, France, in 2008, spent five years as a post-doctoral fellow at the FitzPatrick and is now a research associate of the institute.

Current students

Doctoral

Alistair McInnes (UCT): At-sea behavioural responses of African Penguins in relation to small-scale variability in prey distribution: implications for Marine Protected Areas (Co-supervisors: Peter Ryan, M. Lacerda).

Rabi’a Rijklief (NMMU): Gannets in contrasting environments: behaviour, demographics and indicators of environmental change (Co-supervisor: Pierre Pistorius).

Masters (Dissertation)

Keigan Doherty (NMMU): Foraging behaviour of African penguins and small-scale prey distribution (Co-supervisor: Pierre Pistorius)

Jenny Roberts (UCT) Tracking African Penguins in the non-breeding season (Co-supervisors: Peter Ryan, Ross Wanless, Christina Moseley)

Noëlle Tubbs (UCT): Heat tolerance in the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) in the face of climate change (Co-supervisors: Peter Ryan, Jonathan Green).

Masters (Coursework)

Brigitte Heylen (Ghent): African penguin foraging behaviour in the face of climate change

Honours

Plaxedes Vimbai (NUST, Zimbabwe): Communication in Cape gannets - the greeting behaviour (Co-supervisors: Peter Mundy, David Gremillet)

Graduated students

Masters (dissertation)

Anouk Spelt (cum laude) (Amsterdam 2015): Penguin parenthood - what are the keys to success?

Gwendoline Traisnel (Brest 2015): Personality of African penguins: do bolder birds have higher fitness?

Reason Nyengera (NMMU 2013-14): Impact of seismic surveys on African penguins and their prey (Co-supervisor: Pierre Pistorius)

Diane Smith (distinction) (Rhodes 2013-14) Penguin parenting: assortative mating, nest attendance and sex-specific chick provisioning in the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) (Co-Supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Paige Potter (NMMU 2012-13): The dynamics of anchovy and sardine in Algoa Bay and their influences on response variables in two threatened avian predators (Co-supervisors: Pierre Pistorius, Nadine Strydom)

Rowen van Eeden (distinction and winner of Purcell Memorial Prize) (UCT 2010-12): The foraging ecology of African penguins in relation with ocean physical processes and prey availability (Co-supervisor: Peter Ryan). 

Masters (coursework: Conservation Biology)

Lea Cohen (UCT 2012-13): Environmental conditions, foraging effort and chick growth in Cape gannets: insight from a long-term study (Co-supervisors:Peter Ryan, David Grémillet)

Craig Harding (UCT 2012-13) Tracking African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) outside of the breeding season: regional effects of fishing pressure during the pre-moult period. (Co-supervisors: Peter Ryan, Ross Wanless)

Christina Moseley (UCT 2009-10): Impact of fishery wastes on the eco-physiology of adult Cape gannets (Co-supervisors:Peter Ryan, David Grémillet)

Maïke Hamann (UCT 2008-9): Conservation implications of the foraging behaviour of breeding Cape cormorants (Phalacrocorax capensis) (Co-supervisors:Peter Ryan, David Grémillet)

Nicola Okes (UCT 2007-8): Fish and fisheries in the southern Benguela: is a management paradigm shift needed to conserve fish-eating birds (Co-supervisor: David Grémillet)

Honours

Kirstin Stephens (Rhodes 2015): Spatial and temporal match-mismatch between endangered African penguins, small pelagic fish and primary production. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Itai Mukutyu (NUST, Zimbabwe 2015): Foraging behaviour of African penguins in Algoa Bay (Co-supervisor: Peter Mundy)

Keigan Doherty (Rhodes 2014): Heat tolerance in African penguins in the face of climate change (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Melissa Pollard (Rhodes 2013): Mate choice in African penguins: is mating assortative? (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid).

Shana Mian (Rhodes 2012): Mate choice in African penguins: is mating assortative? (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Ben Dilley (UCT 2011): Is the growth rate of chicks directly related to breeding adults’ foraging effort in African penguin? (Co-supervisor: Peter Ryan)

Candice Owen (Rhodes 2011): Comparative foraging behaviour and diets of African penguins from two colonies, in Nelson Mandela Bay. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Kirsty McQuaid (Rhodes 2011): Is the growth rate of chicks directly related to breeding adults’ foraging effort in African penguin? (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Trevor Edwards (UCT 2010) Minimum approach distances to African penguins: what is safe?” (Co-supervisor: Peter Ryan)

Kyran Write (UCT 2010): Do African penguins use olfaction to detect their prey at sea? (Co-supervisor: Peter Ryan)

Jonathan Handley (Rhodes 2010) Sex specific foraging behaviour and an investigation into using cloaca width to confirm sexual dimorphism in bill morphology in African penguins on Bird Island. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Nina Voogt (Rhodes 2010): Sex specific foraging behaviour and an investigation into using cloaca width to confirm sexual dimorphism in bill morphology in African penguins on Bird Island. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Nikita Steele (Rhodes 2010): Impact of culling kelp gulls on their predation rate on Vulnerable African penguins on Bird Island, Nelson Mandela Bay. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Petra de Abreu (UCT 2009): Foraging effort in relation to chick condition in African penguins from Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape Province.(Co-supervisor: Peter Ryan)

Jenny Marie Booth (Rhodes 2009): Comparative foraging behaviour and diets of African penguins at St Croix and Bird Islands, Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape Province (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Jess Watermeyer (Rhodes 2009): Sex-specific foraging behaviour in African penguins.(Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

Sara Sharon Jones (Rhodes 2009): Impact of Kelp gull predation on a population of Vulnerable penguins, the African penguin, in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape Province. (Co-supervisor: Christopher McQuaid)

BSc

Bonnie Lei: (Harvard 2012): African penguin thermoregulatory behaviour.

Recent peer-reviewed publications

2015

Grémillet, D., Péron, C., Kato, A,, Amélineau, F,. Ropert-Coudert, Y., Ryan, P.G. & Pichegru, L. (in press) Starving seabirds: Unprofitable foraging and its fitness consequences in Cape gannets competing with fisheries in the Benguela upwelling ecosystem. Marine Biology

van Eeden, R.B., Reid, T., Ryan, P.G. & Pichegru, L. (in press) Fine-scale foraging cues for African Penguins in a highly variable marine environment. Marine Ecology Progress Series

Pichegru, L., Edwards, T., Dilley, B., Flower, T.J. & Ryan, P.G. (in press) African penguin tolerance to humans depends on historical exposure at colony level.  Bird Conservation International

McInnes, A.M., Khoosal, A., Murrell, B., Merkle, D., Lacerda, M., Nyengera, R., Coetzee, J.C., Edwards, L.C., Ryan, P.G., Rademan, J., van der Westhuizen, J.J. & Pichegru, L. (in press) Recreational fish-finders - an inexpensive alternative to scientific echo-sounders for unravelling the links between marine top predators and their prey. PLoS ONE.

Pettex, E., Barrett, R.T., Lorentsen, S-H., Bonadonna, F., Pichegru, L., Pons, J-B. & Grémillet, D. (2015). Contrasting population trends at Norwegian Northern gannet colonies: is food limitation a factor? Journal of Ornithology 156: 397-406.

2014

Cohen, L.A., Pichegru, L., Grémillet, D., Coetzee, J.C., Upfold, L. & Ryan, P.G. (2014) Behavioural flexibility of a seabird facing decadal fluctuations in prey availability. Marine Ecology Progress Series 505, 281-293.

Lei, B., Green, J.D. & Pichegru, L. (2014) Extreme microclimate conditions in artificial nests for endangered African penguins. Bird Conservation International 24, 201-213.

McInnes, A.M., Suarez, N., Rishworth, G.M., Green, D.B., Pistorius, P.A. & Pichegru, L. (2014). Lumbering the gauntlet – Cape gannet fledglings killed by African penguins. Ostrich 85:193-196.

Pichegru, L. & Parsons, N. (2014) Female biased mortality in Endangered penguins. African Journal of Marine Science 36: 279-282.

Sabarros, P.S., Grémillet, D., Demarcq, H., Moseley, C., Mullers, R.H.E., Pichegru, L., Stenseth, N.C. & Machu, E. (2014) Fine-scale recognition and use of submesoscale fronts by Cape gannets in the southern Benguela region. Deep Sea Research II 107:77-84.

2013

Tew-Kai, E., van der Lingen, C.D., Coetzee, J., Benhamou, S., Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G. & Grémillet, D. (2013) Are fishery wastes an ecological trap for Cape gannets in the Benguela upwelling ecosystem? A multi-disciplinary approach. Journal of Applied Ecology 50. 659-670.

Pichegru, L. (2013) Increasing breeding success of an Endangered penguin: artificial nests or culling predatory gulls? Bird Conservation International 23, 296-308.

Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., van Eeden, R., Reid, T., Grémillet, D. and Wanless, R. (2012) Industrial fishing, no-take zones and endangered penguins. Biological Conservation 156, 117-125.

Pichegru, L., Cook, T., Handley, J., Voogt, N., Nupen, L., Watermeyer, J. & McQuaid, C.D. (2013) Sex-specific foraging behaviour and a field sexing technique for Endangered African penguin. Endangangered Species Research 19, 255-264.

2012

Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., van Eeden, R., Reid, T., Grémillet, D. and Wanless, R. (2012) Industrial fishing, no-take zones and endangered penguins. Biological Conservation 156:117-125.

Pichegru, L. (2012) Increasing breeding success of an Endangered penguin: artificial nests or culling predatory gulls ? Bird Conservation International doi:10.1017/S0959270912000135.

Hamann, M., Grémillet, D., Ryan, P.G., Bonadonna, F., van der Lingen, C.D. and Pichegru, L. (2012). A hard-knock life: the foraging ecology of Cape cormorants amidst shifting prey resources and industrial fishing pressure. African Journal of Marine Science 34, 233-240.

Moseley, C., Grémillet, D., Connan, M., Ryan, P.G., Mullers, R.H.E., van der Lingen, C.D., Miller, T.W., Coetzee, J.C., Crawford, R.J.M., Sabarros, P., McQuaid, C.D. and Pichegru, L. (2012) Body condition and foraging ecology of two populations of seabirds historically feeding on different diet. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 422-423, 29-38.

Ryan, P.G., Edwards, L.C. and Pichegru, L. (2012) African penguins Spheniscus demersus, bait balls and the Allee effect. Ardea 100, 89-94.

Cook, T.C., Hamann, M., Pichegru, L., Bonadonna, F., Grémillet, D. and Ryan, P.G. (2012) When seabirds hit the bottom: investigating fine-scale four-dimensional foraging behaviour in small flighted divers. Marine Biology. 159, 373–387.

2011

Write, K.L.B.,Pichegru, L. and Ryan, P.G. (2011) Penguins are attracted to dimethyl sulphide at sea. Journal of Experimental Biology. 214, 2509-2511.

Crawford, R.J.M,, Altwegg, R., Barham, B.J., Barham, P.J., Durant, J.M., Dyer, B.M., Makhado, A.B., Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., Underhill, L.G., Upfold, L., Visagie. J,, Waller, L.J. and Whittington, P.A. (2011) Collapse of South Africa’s penguins in the early 21st century: a consideration of food availability. African Journal of Marine Science 33, 139-156.

Pichegru, L., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Kato, A., Takahashi, A., Dyer, B.M. and Ryan, P.G. (2011) Diving patterns of female Macaroni Penguins breeding on Marion Island, South Africa. Polar Biology 34, 945-954.

2010

Grémillet, D., Mullers, R.H.E., Moseley, C., Pichegru, L., Coetzee, J.C., Sabarros, S., van der Lingen, C.D., Ryan, P.G., Kato, A. and Ropert-Coudert, Y. (2010) Seabirds, fisheries and cameras. Frontiers for Ecology 8, 401-402.

Pichegru, L., Grémillet, D., Crawford, R.J.M. and Ryan P.G. (2010) Marine no-take zone rapidly benefit threatened penguin. Biology Letters 6, 498-501.

Ryan, P.G.,Pichegru, L., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Grémillet, D, and Kato, A. (2010) On a wing and a prayer: the foraging ecology of breeding Cape Cormorants. Journal of Zoology 280, 25-32.

Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., Crawford, R.J.M. and Grémillet, D. (2010) Behavioural inertia places a top marine predator at risk from environmental change in the Benguela upwelling system. Marine Biology 157, 537-544.

2006-2009

Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., Le Bohec, C., van der Lingen, C.D., Navarro, R., Petersen, S., Lewis, S., van der Westhuizen, J. and Grémillet, D. (2009) Overlap between vulnerable top predators and fisheries in the Benguela upwelling system: implications for marine protected areas. Marine and Ecological Progress Series 391, 199-208.

Okes, N.C., Hockey, P.A.R., Pichegru, L., van der Lingen, C.D., Crawford, R.J.M. and Grémillet, D. (2009) Competition for shifting resources in the southern Benguela upwelling: seabirds versus purse-seine fisheries. Biological Conservation 142, 2361-2368.

Grémillet, D., Pichegru, L., Kuntz, G., Woakes, A.G., Wilkinson, S., Crawford, R.J.M. and Ryan, P.G. (2008). A Junk-food hypothesis for Cape gannets feeding on fishery waste. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 18, 1-9.

Pichegru, L., Ryan, P.G., van den Lingen, C.D., Ropert-Coudert, Y., Coetzee, J. and Grémillet, D. (2007) Foraging strategies and energetics of Cape gannets Morus capensis feeding on live prey and fishery discards in the Benguela upwelling system. Marine and Ecological Progress Series 350, 127-136.

Grémillet, D., Pichegru, L., Siorat, F. and Georges, J-Y. (2006). Conservation implications of the mismatch between population dynamics and foraging effort in Northern gannets from the English Channel. Marine and Ecological Progress Series 319, 15-25.

Massemin-Challet, S., Gendner, J-P., Samtmann, S., Pichegru, L., Wulgué, A. and Le Maho, Y. (2006) The effect of migration strategy and food availability on White Stork Ciconia ciconia breeding success. Ibis 148, 503-508.