The ecology of sleep: New insights on sleep homeostasis from EEG studies on godwits in the wild



All mammals and birds appear to spend a large part of their life asleep but the function of this enigmatic behavior and physiological state is still unknown. Surprisingly, field studies to examine sleep under the natural conditions where it evolved have so far been exceptionally rare. In fact, in most ecological studies that assess behavior in the wild, sleep episodes are often little more than blanks in the activity recordings. However, if sleep indeed serves important functions, then the time available for sleep may be a determining factor in the fitness of an individual. In this project we will exploit the recent miniaturization of EEG technology to study sleep in birds under ecologically relevant conditions, particularly during the breeding season and during long-distance migration when the time for sleep and recovery often appears to be limited. Together these studies will provide unique insights in the ecology of sleep and sleep homeostasis in the real world.
Effectieve start/einddatum01/01/201701/12/2021