Ran Nathan

Ran Nathan
Hebrew University of Jerusalem | HUJI · Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

PhD

About

216
Publications
102,793
Reads
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20,253
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (216)
Article
Fission–fusion (FF) societies are characterized by frequent changes in group cohesion, composition or size. While the ecological and social drivers of group size are well acknowledged, their effect on FF dynamics is largely unknown, partly due to lack of suitable data sets spanning multiple individuals and spatiotemporal scales. Theory predicts tha...
Article
Animals that depend on ephemeral, patchily distributed prey often use public information to locate resource patches. The use of public information can lead to the aggregation of foragers at prey patches, a mechanism known as local enhancement. However, when ephemeral resources are distributed over large areas, foragers may also need to increase sea...
Article
The field of movement ecology has seen a rapid increase in high-resolution data in recent years, leading to the development of numerous statistical and numerical methods to analyse relocation trajectories. Data are often collected at the level of the individual and for long periods that may encompass a range of behaviours. Here, we use the power sp...
Article
Avian influenza viruses (AIV) are a worldwide threat to animal and human health. As wild waterfowl circulate and spread these viruses around the world, investigations of AIV prevalence in wild populations are critical for understanding pathogen transmission, as well as predicting disease outbreaks in domestic animals and humans. Surveillance effort...
Article
Fine‐scale tracking of animal movement is important to understand the proximate mechanisms of animal behaviour. The reverse‐GPS system – ATLAS – uses inexpensive (~€25), lightweight (<1g) and low‐power (~0.4mJ/transmission) tags. Six systems are now operational worldwide and have successfully tracked over 50 species in various landscape types. The...
Preprint
Background. Movement is central to understanding the ecology of animals. The most easily definable segments of an individual’s lifetime track (i.e., movement path defined by a relocation data time series) are its diel activity routines (DARs). This definability is due to fixed start and end points set by a 24-hour clock that depends on the individu...
Preprint
Full-text available
We describe the design and implementation of Vildehaye, a family of versatile, widely-applicable, and field-proven tags for wildlife sensing and radio tracking. The family includes 6 distinct hardware designs for tags, 3 add-on boards, a programming adapter, and base stations; modular firmware for tags and base stations (both standalone low-power e...
Article
Full-text available
We study a non-Markovian and nonstationary model of animal mobility incorporating both exploration and memory in the form of preferential returns. Exact results for the probability of visiting a given number of sites are derived and a practical WKB approximation to treat the nonstationary problem is developed. A mean-field version of this model, fi...
Preprint
The field of movement ecology has seen a rapid increase in high-resolution data in recent years, leading to the development of numerous statistical and numerical methods to analyse relocation trajectories. Data are often collected at the level of the individual and for long periods that may encompass a range of behaviours. Here, we use the power sp...
Article
Protected areas are intended as tools in reducing threats to wildlife and preserving habitat for their long-term population persistence. Studies on ranging behavior provide insight into the utility of protected areas. Vultures are one of the fastest declining groups of birds globally and are popular subjects for telemetry studies, but continent-wid...
Preprint
In ecological and conservation studies, responsible researchers strive to obtain rich data while minimizing disturbance to wildlife and ecosystems. We assessed if samples collected noninvasively can be used for microbiome research, comparing microbiota of noninvasively collected fecal samples to those collected from trapped common cranes at the sam...
Article
Understanding animal movement is essential to elucidate how animals interact, survive, and thrive in a changing world. Recent technological advances in data collection and management have transformed our understanding of animal “movement ecology” (the integrated study of organismal movement), creating a big-data discipline that benefits from rapid,...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural activities and vegetation growth cause rapid small-scale vegetationchanges which dynamically alter habitat suitability. Time series enable to trackdown such variations of vegetation structure and are promising to examinetheir impact on animals’ life. Nevertheless, their potential to characterize vege-tation dynamics in ways pertinent t...
Preprint
We study a non-Markovian and nonstationary model of animal mobility incorporating both exploration and memory in the form of preferential returns. We derive exact results for the probability of visiting a given number of sites and develop a practical WKB approximation to treat the nonstationary problem. We further show that this model adequately de...
Preprint
Movement is a fundamental aspect of life and tracking wild animals under natural conditions has become central to animal behaviour, ecology, and conservation science. Data from tracked animals have provided novel scientific insights on extreme migratory journeys, mechanisms of navigation, space use, and early warning signals of environmental change...
Article
Human-wildlife conflicts are universally growing, threatening sustainable coexistence and demanding increasing conservation efforts. While such conflicts are commonly tackled by combining different management practices, how each component contributes to management effectiveness usually remains unclear. This challenge can be addressed by integrating...
Article
Full-text available
Studies in both humans and model organisms suggest that the microbiome may play a significant role in host health, including digestion and immune function. Microbiota can offer protection from exogenous pathogens through colonization resistance, but microbial dysbiosis in the gastrointestinal tract can decrease resistance and is associated with pat...
Article
Full-text available
1. Modern, high‐throughput animal tracking increasingly yields ‘big data’ at very fine temporal scales. At these scales, location error can exceed the animal’s step size, leading to mis‐estimation of behaviours inferred from movement. ‘Cleaning’ the data to reduce location errors is one of the main ways to deal with position uncertainty. Though dat...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial partitioning between neighboring colonies is considered a widespread phenomenon in colonial species, reported mainly in marine birds. Partitioning is suspected to emerge due to various processes, such as competition, diet specialization, memory, information transfer, or even “foraging cultures.” Yet, empirical evidence from other taxa, and...
Article
Full-text available
Individual variation is increasingly recognized as a central component of ecological processes, but its role in structuring environmental niche associations remains largely unknown. Species’ responses to environmental conditions are ultimately determined by the niches of single individuals, yet environmental associations are typically captured only...
Article
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Human activities shape resources available to wild animals, impacting diet and likely altering their microbiota and overall health. We examined drivers shaping microbiota profiles of common cranes (Grus grus) in agricultural habitats by comparing gut microbiota and crane movement patterns (GPS‐tracking) over three periods of their migratory cycle,...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive biases for encoding spatial information (orientation strategies) in relation to self (egocentric) or landmarks (allocentric) differ between species or populations according to the habitats they occupy. Whether biases in orientation strategy determine early habitat selection or if individuals adapt their biases following experience is unkn...
Article
Full-text available
Memories about the spatial environment, such as the locations of foraging patches, are expected to affect how individuals move around the landscape. However, individuals differ in the ability to remember spatial locations (spatial cognitive ability) and evidence is growing that these inter-individual differences influence a range of fitness proxies...
Article
The Eurasian Jackdaw is thought to be archetypically monogamous, but recent tagging research uncovered extra-pair copulations in the species. Here we examined extra-pair paternity (genetic monogamy) in Eurasian jackdaws breeding in the Judean Hills, Israel, at the global edge of the species range, using a set of highly polymorphic molecular microsa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Fine-scale tracking of animal movement is important to understand the proximate mechanisms of animal behaviour. While GPS tracking is an excellent tool for measuring animal movement, trade-offs between tag weight, cost and lifespan limit its application to relatively large species, a small number of individuals or short tracking durations, respecti...
Article
Reliable estimates of nest‐switching are required to study avian mating systems and manage wild populations, yet different estimation methods have rarely been integrated or assessed. Through a literature review and case study, we reveal that three common methods for assessing nest‐switching blend different components, producing a wide range of esti...
Article
Early-life conditions have critical, long-lasting effects on the fate of individuals, yet early-life activity has rarely been linked to subsequent survival of animals in the wild. Using high-resolution GPS and body-acceleration data of 93 juvenile white storks ( Ciconia ciconia ), we examined the links between behaviour during both pre-fledging and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Modern, high-throughput animal tracking studies collect increasingly large volumes of data at very fine temporal scales. At these scales, location error can exceed the animal’s step size, leading to mis-estimation of key movement metrics such as speed. ‘Cleaning’ the data to reduce location errors prior to analyses is one of the main ways movement...
Article
Timing of activity can reveal an organism's efforts to optimize foraging either by minimizing energy loss through passive movement or by maximizing energetic gain through foraging. Here, we assess whether signals of either of these strategies are detectable in the timing of activity of daily, local movements by birds. We compare the similarities of...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonal animal migration is a widespread phenomenon. At the species level, it has been shown that many migratory animal species track similar climatic conditions throughout the year. However, it remains unclear whether such a niche tracking pattern is a direct consequence of individual behaviour or emerges at the population or species level throug...
Article
Full-text available
Animals generally benefit from their gastrointestinal microbiome, but the factors that influence the composition and dynamics of their microbiota remain poorly understood. Studies of nonmodel host species can illuminate how microbiota and their hosts interact in natural environments. We investigated the role of migratory behaviour in shaping the gu...
Article
Full-text available
Seven decades of research on the “cognitive map,” the allocentric representation of space, have yielded key neurobiological insights, yet field evidence from free-ranging wild animals is still lacking. Using a system capable of tracking dozens of animals simultaneously at high accuracy and resolution, we assembled a large dataset of 172 foraging Eg...
Article
Full-text available
Organismal movement is ubiquitous and facilitates important ecological mechanisms that drive community and meta-community composition and hence biodiversity. In most existing ecological theories and models in biodiversity research, movement is represented simplistically, ignoring the behavioural basis of movement and consequently the variation in b...
Article
Full-text available
The behavioral ecology of host species is likely to affect their microbial communities, because host sex, diet, physiology, and movement behavior could all potentially influence their microbiota. We studied a wild population of barn owls (Tyto alba) and collected data on their microbiota, movement, diet, size, coloration, and reproduction. The comp...
Article
Full-text available
Studying the causes and consequences of route selection in animal migration is important for understanding the evolution of migratory systems and how they may be affected by environmental factors at various spatial and temporal scales. One key decision during migration is whether to cross “high transport cost” areas, or to circumvent them. Soaring...
Data
Supporting information to the article: "Causes and consequences of facultative sea crossing in a soaring migrant"
Preprint
Full-text available
Organismal movement is ubiquitous and facilitates important ecological mechanisms that drive community and metacommunity composition and hence biodiversity. In most existing ecological theories and models in biodiversity research, movement is represented simplistically, ignoring the behavioural basis of movement and consequently the variation in be...
Preprint
Full-text available
Studying the causes and consequences of route selection in animal migration is important for understanding the evolution of migratory systems and how they may be affected by environmental factors at various spatial and temporal scales. One key decision during migration is whether to cross “high transport cost” areas, or to circumvent them. Soaring...
Article
1.During migration, birds are often forced to cross ecological barriers, facing challenges due to scarcity of resources and suitable habitats. While crossing such barriers, birds are expected to adjust their behaviour to reduce time, energy expenditure and associated risks. 2. We studied the crossing of the Sahara Desert by the Great White Pelican...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
The implementation of intelligent software to identify and classify objects and individuals in visual fields is a technology of growing importance to operatives in many fields, including wildlife conservation and management. To non-experts, the methods can be abstruse and the results mystifying. Here, in the context of applying cutting edge methods...
Article
Full-text available
Tracking seasonally changing resources is regarded as a widespread proximate mechanism underpinning animal migration. Migrating herbivores, for example, are hypothesized to track seasonal foliage dynamics over large spatial scales. Previous investigations of this green wave hypothesis involved few species and limited geographical extent, and used c...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Animal movement is an important determinant of individual survival, population dynamics and ecosystem structure and function. Nonetheless, it is still unclear how local movements are related to resource availability and the spatial arrangement of resources. Using resident bird species and migratory bird species outside the migratory period, we...
Article
Full-text available
Species’ movements affect their response to environmental change but movement knowledge is often highly uncertain. We now have well‐established methods to integrate movement knowledge into conservation practice but still lack a framework to deal with uncertainty in movement knowledge for environmental decisions. We provide a framework that distingu...
Article
Home range estimation is routine practice in ecological research. While advances in animal tracking technology have increased our capacity to collect data to support home range analysis, these same advances have also resulted in increasingly autocorrelated data. Consequently the question of which home range estimator to use on modern, highly autoco...
Article
1.Early arrival at breeding grounds is of prime importance for migrating birds as it is known to enhance breeding success. Adults, males and higher quality individuals typically arrive earlier, and across years, early arrival has been linked to warmer spring temperatures. However, the mechanisms and potential costs of early arrival are not well und...
Article
Animals typically adjust their behaviour to their changing environment throughout the annual cycle, modulating key processes such as the timing of breeding and the onset of migration. Such behavioural changes are commonly manifested in the movements and the energetic balance of individuals in relation to their species-specific physiological charact...
Article
Full-text available
Biotelemetry is increasingly used to study animal movement at high spatial and temporal resolution and guide conservation and resource management. Yet, limited sample sizes and variation in space and habitat use across regions and life stages may compromise robustness of behavioral analyses and subsequent conservation plans. Here, we assessed varia...
Article
Full-text available
Biotelemetry is increasingly used to study animal movement at high spatial and temporal resolution and guide conservation and resource management. Yet, limited sample sizes and variation in space and habitat use across regions and life stages may compromise robustness of behavioral analyses and subsequent conservation plans. Here, we assessed varia...
Article
Full-text available
1.Animals are often required to make decisions about their use of current resources while minimising travel costs and risks due to uncertainty about the forthcoming resources. Passive soaring birds utilise warm rising‐air columns (thermals) to climb up and obtain potential energy for flying across large areas. However, the utilisation of such incon...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most species of birds and bats must be tracked with tracking tags weighing less than 10g and many require tags weighing less than 1g. Tags based on commodity internet-of-things system-on-chips (SoC) can be be mass produced at low-cost, hence allowing many individuals to be tracked. We report on the design and performance of two communication protoc...
Article
Full-text available
Animal movement is fundamental for ecosystem functioning and species survival, yet the effects of the anthropogenic footprint on animal movements have not been estimated across species. Using a unique GPS-tracking database of 803 individuals across 57 species, we found that movements of mammals in areas with a comparatively high human footprint wer...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how individuals manage costs during the migration period is challenging because individuals are difficult to follow between sites; the advent of hybrid Global Positioning System–acceleration (ACC) tracking devices enables researchers to link spatial and temporal attributes of avian migration with behavior for the first time ever. We f...
Article
Understanding the ecological, behavioral and evolutionary response of organisms to changing environments is of primary importance in a human-altered world. It is crucial to elucidate how human activities alter gene flow and what are the consequences for the genetic structure of a species. We studied two lineages of the Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus...
Article
Full-text available
Uncertainties regarding food location and quality are among the greatest challenges faced by foragers and communal roosting may facilitate success through social foraging. The information centre hypothesis (ICH) suggests that uninformed individuals at shared roosts benefit from following informed individuals to previously visited resources. We test...
Article
Full-text available
Increased human-induced environmental changes and global warming alter bird migration timing and routes. Recently, many Holarctic species, including white storks, Ciconia ciconia, were reported to overwinter at higher latitudes, closer to breeding grounds. We aimed to understand the causes and implications of this phenomenon by examining bird survi...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions constitute a major component of human-induced environmental change and have become a world-wide problem threatening global biodiversity and incurring massive economic costs. Consequently, research on biological invasions proliferates, placing a major emphasis on species traits and habitat characteristics associated with success...