Avian Demography Unit
Department of Statistical Sciences
University of Cape Town
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Lorenzo Serra
PhD student

Qualifications and experience

Lorenzo graduated in Biology at the University of Bologna (1984/85-1988/89), Italy, with a thesis on the seasonal patterns of wader migration across Italy. He received a two-year post-university grant by the National Wildlife Service (Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica) to study some aspects of the eco-physiology of bird migration (1992-1994) and a one-year grant by the National Council for Research (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) which was spent at the ADU (1996-1997). In South Africa, he started a PhD research programme on the migration and moult of the Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, which is still ongoing. Since 1997 he has a full-time research position at the National Wildlife Service in Italy.

His major expertise is in bird migration studies (routes and movements, moult, stop-over ecology, energetics), population monitoring and wintering ecology with extensive field experience (ringing and census activities) in the Mediterranean/Black-Sea Region. He worked on a collaboration to the set-up of the inventory of Italian wetlands and the management of national databank of waterbird counts.

Research interests

Lorenzo is interested in bird ecology, with emphasis on waders, waterfowl and their habitats. Currently, his main interests are in feathers, moult (feather quality, plumage development, primary moult patterns) and their links to migration. He has recently introduced a Nest Record Scheme in Italy. Since 1990 he has been carrying out two long-running waterbird monitoring projects at Cervia and Margherita di Savoia salt-pans.

Selected Publications

Longer list of publications

  • Baccetti N., De Faveri A. & Serra L. 1992. Spring migration and body conditions of Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos on a small Mediterranean island. Ringing & Migration 13: 90-94.
  • Baccetti N., Cherubini G., Magnani A. & Serra L. 1995. Homing performances of adult and immature Dunlins Calidris alpina (Aves: Scolopacidae) displaced from their wintering area. Ethology, Ecology & Evolution 7: 257-264.
  • Cherubini G., Serra L. & Baccetti N. 1996. Moult, body mass and moult migration of Little Tern Sterna albifrons in NE Italy. Ardea: 99-114.
  • Serra L., Baccetti N., Magnani A. & Cherubini G. 1998. Migration and moult of Dunlin Calidris alpina wintering in the central Mediterranean. Bird Study 45: 205-218.
  • Gromadzka J. & Serra L. 1998. Differential migration of juvenile and adult Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola at the mouth of the Vistula River, Poland. Ornis fennica 75: 193-199.
  • Serra L. & Rusticali R. 1998. Biometrics and moult of Grey Plovers (Pluvialis squatarola) in northeastern Italy. Vogelwarte 39: 281-292.
  • Serra L. 1998. The adaptation of primary moult to migration and wintering in the Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola): a preliminary outlook. Biol. Cons. Fauna 102: 123-127.
  • Serra L., Whitelaw D.A., Tree A.J., Underhill L.G. 1999. Moult, mass and migration of Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola wintering in South Africa. Ardea 87: 71-81.
  • Tomkovich P. S. & Serra L. 1999. Morphometrics and prediction of breeding origin in some Holarctic waders. Ardea 87: 289-300.
  • Baccetti N., Serra L., Magnani A. & Cherubini G. 1999. Timing of attachment to wintering site as revealed by experimental displacements of Dunlins. Journal fur Ornithologie 140: 309-317.
  • Serra L., Whitelaw D., Tree A.J., Underhill L.G. 2001. Biometrics, possible breeding origins and migration routes of South African Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola. Ostrich 72: 140-144
  • Minton C.D.A. & Serra L. 2001. Biometrics and moult of Grey Plovers in Australia. Emu 101: 13-18.
  • Serra L. 2001. Primary moult duration affects primary quality in Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola. Journal of Avian Biology 32: 377-380.
  • Pearson D.J. & Serra L. 2002. Biometrics, moult and migration of Grey Plovers Pluvialis squatarola at Mida Creek, Kenya. Ostrich 73.

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