Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics

Photographer: Liesbeth Dingemans

dr. J.Z. (Judy) Shamoun- Baranes

Associate Professor
  • Faculty of Science
  • Visiting address
    Science Park A
    Science Park 904  Room number: C4.168
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  94248
    1090 GE  Amsterdam
    T: 0205257436

I am an Associate Professor in the interdisciplinary department Theoretical and Computational Ecology, at the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics.

Research interests

I am fascinated with avian flight behaviour, whether during migration, foraging movements or when fleeing from potential danger. Birds fly through a challenging environment whose characteristics vary within and between days, seasons, years, altitudes and landscapes and they have evolved diverse strategies to contend with this variability.   Atmospheric dynamics may be an energetic source or sink during flight. By integrating models, diverse measurements of bird movement (GPS tracking,radar, field observations) and meteorology, I am trying to understand the short and long term consequences of behavioural responses to dynamic atmospheric conditions at different scales in space and time.
The development of a new GPS tracking system at UvA ( has recently enabled me to study the detailed movements of individual birds throughout their annual routine. This provides great opportunities to study the diversity and variation of foraging and migratory behaviour at the individual and species level and its potential importance in an ever changing world.
Due to the multi-disciplinary nature of my research, I am privileged to collaborate with diverse researchers with expertise in specific study systems, technological developments, meteorology, modelling, data management and visualization. While developing tools for data analysis and visualization is not the main aim of my research, it is often a fruitful investment which I enjoy being involved in.


I am involved in the BSc programs of Biology and Future Planet Studies as well as the MSc programs Biological Sciences and Earth Sciences.  My contributions are usually related to biodiversity or working with biological data, through course coordination, guest lectures, development of course materials and excursions. Furthermore I supervise students working on their BSc and MSc thesis projects.
Every two years, I coordinate an international summer school on Animal Movement Analysis for graduate students, together with my colleagues from CGE. Our most recent course was held in the summer of 2017 (see photo below).


Animal Movement Analysis Summer course participants and teachers, July 2017 (photo Jan van Arkel)


Public outreach and engagement

I find public outreach an important part of my work and great fun.  I believe that through public outreach activities, you can engage people in your research, inspire new ideas and ways of thinking and get inspired by the people you interact with.  I have given numerous public lectures to people of all ages and these events have been, without exception, stimulating and great fun. I'd like to thank all those that have invited me, come to listen and ask great questions.

In 2013 our team Vogel het Uit! won the annual national science communication competition funded by NWO (Academische jaarprijs).  This was a truely fantastic experience and with the prize we turned our ideas into a reality setting up a new citizen science project to complementn our tracking research.  For more information about this project see: or even better download our app (Vogelhetuit) for Android and IOS and contribute to our work (project is in Dutch). Unfortunately 2013 was the last year that NWO funded this competition, which is a pity because it created an opportunity for scientists to think out of their research box and find new and creative ways to engage people in what they do daily with such great passion.

Selection of media coverage of Vogel het Uit!

Radio interview (Dutch):[tt_news]=368712&cHash=f1d2b76ecc0b560b06c65f238d9ba9c2

Interview Kijk magazine (Dutch):

Apps of the week Volkskrant (Dutch):

Below are links to a few of the other outreach activities I have been involved in:


I find that one of the great benefits of research is working with different people, and when doing interdisciplinary research, this means people with diverse backgrounds, expertise and even research cultures. While this can be challenging at times it is also an enriching experience.


I collaborate with several people on a regular basis; those I work most closely with are Willem Bouten and Emiel van Loon from TCE on migration, foraging ecology and methodology, as well as with the PhD candidates I am supervising. On radar ornithology I work with Adriaan Dokter, currently based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Hidde Leijnse from KNMI, Hans van Gasteren from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and numerous colleagues from ENRAM. Since 2008, I work closely with Kees Camphuysen from the NIOZ on the foraging and migration ecology of lesser black backed gulls ( Larus fuscus) and herring gulls (Larus argentatus).

European Network for the Radar surveillance of Animal Movement (ENRAM)

From October 2013 - 2017 I served as the vice-chair of the e-COST action (ES-1305) ENRAM, connecting a mutli-disciplinary group of researchers that are using or developing ground based radar to monitor weather or animal movements in Europe.  One of the aims of our network are to bring our expertise together to monitor, understand and predict animal movement patterns on a continental scale, while improving meteorological products from weather radar. It has been an honour and a pleasure to see this network grow and thrive during the years, and especially to see a young and virbrant new generation become an active part of this network.
For more information see the ENRAM website:

ENRAM final meeting, Ghent 2017

PhD Supervision

Stearing, supervising and working together with the next generation of motivated scientists is a real privelage. I am currently co-promoter of PhD candidates Susanne van Donk (NIOZ), Morgan Brown (UvA) and Elspeth Sage (UvA), I am also co-supervising PhD candidate Anouk Spelt (University of Bristol).  Whether the focus is on migration, fine scale flight behaviour, small song birds, gulls or large soaring raptors, one thing that brings past and present PhD candidates together is their work on avian movement ecology.

MSc students

I am always on the lookout for enthusiastic and highly motivated MSc students, interested in doing research on bird migration, foraging ecology or flight strategies and not afraid of working with a lot of real data or simulation models. If you are interested, contact me for an appointment.


  • Bauer, S., Chapman, J. W., Reynolds, D. R., Alves, J. A., Dokter, A. M., Menz, M. M. H., ... Shamoun-Baranes, J. (2017). From agricultural benefits to aviation safety: realizing the potential of continent-wide radar networks. BioScience, 67(10), 912–918. DOI: 10.1093/biosci/bix074 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Liechti, F., & Vansteelant, W. M. G. (2017). Atmospheric conditions create freeways, detours and tailbacks for migrating birds. Journal of Comparative Physiology A. Neuroethology Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology, 203(6-7), 509-529. DOI: 10.1007/s00359-017-1181-9  [details] 
  • van Donk, S., Camphuysen, K. C. J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & van der Meer, J. (2017). The most common diet results in low reproduction in a generalist seabird. Ecology and Evolution, 7(13), 4620-4629. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3018 
  • Vansteelant, W. M. G., Shamoun-Baranes, J., McLaren, J., van Diermen, J., & Bouten, W. (2017). Soaring across continents: decision-making of a soaring migrant under changing atmospheric conditions along an entire flyway. Journal of Avian Biology, 48(6), 887–896. DOI: 10.1111/jav.01298  [details] 
  • Vansteelant, W. M. G., Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Manen, W., van Diermen, J., & Bouten, W. (2017). Seasonal detours by soaring migrants shaped by wind regimes along the East Atlantic Flyway. Journal of Animal Ecology, 86(2). DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12593  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Burant, J. B., van Loon, E. E., Bouten, W., & Camphuysen, C. J. (2017). Short distance migrants travel as far as long distance migrants in lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus. Journal of Avian Biology, 48(1), 49-57. DOI: 10.1111/jav.01229 



  • Vansteelant, W. M. G., Bouten, W., Klaassen, R. H. G., Koks, B. J., Schlaich, A. E., van Diermen, J., ... Shamoun-Baranes, J. (2015). Regional and seasonal flight speeds of soaring migrants and the role of weather at hourly and daily scales. Journal of Avian Biology, 46(1), 25-39. DOI: 10.1111/jav.00457  [details] 
  • Camphuysen, K. C. J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Loon, E. E., & Bouten, W. (2015). Sexually distinct foraging strategies in an omnivorous seabird. Marine Biology, 162(7), 1417-1428. DOI: 10.1007/s00227-015-2678-9  [details] 
  • Gürbüz, S. Z., Reynolds, D. R., Koistinen, J., Liechti, F., Leijnse, H., Shamoun-Baranes, J., ... Chapman, J. W. (2015). Exploring the skies: Technological challenges in radar aeroecology. In 2015 IEEE Radar Conference: (2015 IEEE International Radar Conference): 10-15 May, 2015: Marriott Crystal Gateway, Arlington VA, USA (pp. 0817-0822). Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates. DOI: 10.1109/radar.2015.7131108  [details] 
  • Tyson, C., Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Loon, E. E., Camphuysen, C. J., & Hintzen, N. T. (2015). Individual specialization on fishery discards by lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus). ICES Journal of Marine Science, 76(6), 1882-1891. DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv021  [details] 



  • Bouten, W., Baaij, E. W., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Camphuysen, K. C. J. (2013). A flexible GPS tracking system for studying bird behaviour at multiple scales. Journal of Ornithology, 154(2), 571-580. DOI: 10.1007/s10336-012-0908-1  [details] 
  • Dokter, A. M., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Kemp, M. U., Tijm, S., & Holleman, I. (2013). High Altitude Bird Migration at Temperate Latitudes: A Synoptic Perspective on Wind Assistance. PLoS One, 8(1), e523. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052300  [details] 
  • Kemp, M. U., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Dokter, A. M., van Loon, E., & Bouten, W. (2013). The influence of weather on the flight altitude of nocturnal migrants in mid-latitudes. Ibis, 155(4), 734-749. DOI: 10.1111/ibi.12064  [details] 
  • McLaren, J. D., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Bouten, W. (2013). Stop early to travel fast: modelling risk-averse scheduling among nocturnally migrating birds. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 316, 90-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.09.021  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Camphuysen, C. J. (2013). Population dynamics in lesser black-backed gulls in the Netherlands reveal no response to North Sea regime shift: comment on Luczak et al. 2012. Biology Letters, 9(3), 20121085. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.1085  [details] 


  • Kemp, M. U., Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Loon, E. E., McLaren, J. D., Dokter, A. M., & Bouten, W. (2012). Quantifying flow-assistance and implications for movement research. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 308, 56-67. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.05.026  [details] 
  • Kemp, M. U., van Loon, E. E., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Bouten, W. (2012). RNCEP: global weather and climate data at your fingertips. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 3, 65-70. DOI: 10.1111/j.2041-210X.2011.00138.x  [details] 
  • McLaren, J. D., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Bouten, W. (2012). Wind selectivity and partial compensation for wind drift among nocturnally migrating passerines. Behavioral Ecology, 23(5), 1089-1101. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ars078  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bom, R., van Loon, E. E., Ens, B. J., Oosterbeek, K., & Bouten, W. (2012). From sensor data to animal behaviour: an oystercatcher example. PLoS One, 7(5), e37997. [e37997]. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037997  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Loon, E. E., Purves, R. S., Speckmann, B., Weiskopf, D., & Camphuysen, C. J. (2012). Analysis and visualization of animal movement. Biology Letters, 8, 6-9. DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0764  [details] 
  • Tanha, J., van Someren, M., de Bakker, M., Bouten, W., Shamoun-Baranes, J., & Afsarmanesh, H. (2012). Multiclass semi-supervised learning for animal behavior recognition from accelerometer data. In 24th IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence (pp. 690-697). Athens: IEEE. DOI: 10.1109/ICTAI.2012.98  [details] 
  • Camphuysen, C. J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., & Garthe, S. (2012). Identifying ecologically important marine areas for seabirds using behavioural information in combination with distribution patterns. Biological Conservation, 156(Nov-Dec), 22-29. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.024  [details] 
  • Klassen, R. H. G., Ens, B. J., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Exo, K. M., & Bairlein, F. (2012). Migration strategy of a flight generalist, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. Behavioral Ecology, 23(1), 58-68. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr150  [details] 


  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., & van Gasteren, H. (2011). Atmospheric conditions facilitate mass migration events across the North Sea. Animal Behaviour, 81(4), 691-704. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2011.01.003  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., Camphuysen, C. J., & Baaij, E. (2011). Riding the tide: intriguing observations of gulls resting at sea during breeding. Ibis, 153(2), 411-415. DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2010.01096.x  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Dokter, A. M., van Gasteren, H., van Loon, E. E., van Leijnse, H., & Bouten, W. (2011). Birds flee en mass from New Year's Eve fireworks. Behavioral Ecology, 22(6), 1173-1177. DOI: 10.1093/beheco/arr102  [details] 
  • van Loon, E. E., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., & Davis, S. L. (2011). Understanding soaring bird migration through interactions and decisions at the individual level. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 270(1), 112-126. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.10.038  [details] 


  • Kemp, M. U., Shamoun-Baranes, J., van Gasteren, H., Bouten, W., & van Loon, E. E. (2010). Can wind help explain seasonal differences in avian migration speed? Journal of Avian Biology, 41(6), 672-677. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2010.05053.x  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Leyrer, J., van Loon, E., Bocher, P., Robin, F., Meunier, F., & Piersma, T. (2010). Stochastic atmospheric assistance and the use of emergency staging sites by migrants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 277, 1505-1511. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.2112  [details] 
  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., & van Loon, E. E. (2010). Integrating meteorology into research on migration. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50(3), 280-292. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icq011  [details] 
  • Bowlin, M. S., Bisson, I., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Reichard, J. D., Sapir, N., Marra, P., ... Wikelski, M. (2010). Grand challenges in migration biology. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50(3), 261-279. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icq013  [details] 
  • Camphuysen, C. J., de Boer, P., Bouten, W., Gronert, A., & Shamoun-Baranes, J. (2010). Mammalian prey in Laridae: increased predation pressure on mammal populations expected. Lutra, 53(1), 5-20. [details] 
  • Robinson, W. D., Bowlin, M. S., Bisson, I., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Thorup, K., Diehl, R. H., ... Winkler, D. W. (2010). Integrating concepts and technologies to advance the study of bird migration. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 8(7), 354-361. DOI: 10.1890/080179  [details] 


  • Ens, B. J., Bairlein, F., Camphuysen, K., de Boer, P., Exo, K. M., Gallego, N., ... Shamoun-Baranes, J. (2009). Onderzoek aan meeuwen met satellietzenders. Limosa, 82(1), 33-42. [details] 


  • Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., Buurma, L., DeFusco, R., Dekker, A., Sierdsema, H., ... van Loon, E. (2008). Avian information systems: Developing web-based bird avoidance models. Ecology and Society, 13(2), 38. [details] 
  • van Gasteren, H., Holleman, I., Bouten, W., van Loon, E., & Shamoun-Baranes, J. (2008). Extracting bird migration information from C-band Doppler weather radars. Ibis, 150(4), 674-686. DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2008.00832.x  [details] 


  • Ginati, A., Coppola, A. D., Garofalo, G., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., van Gasteren, H., ... Sorbi, S. (2010). FlySafe: an early warning system to reduce risk of bird strikes. European Space Agency bulletin, (144), 46-55. [details] 


  • van Gasteren, H., Shamoun-Baranes, J., Ginati, A., & Garofalo, G. (2008). Avian Alert - a bird migration early warning system. In Proceedings of the 59th International Astronautical Congress (IAC 2008) (pp. 1-9) [details] 


  • Prast, W., & Shamoun, J. (1997). BRIS : Bird Remains Identification System: European birds, feather micro-structures. (Version 1.0 ed.) (World Biodiversity Database Supporting Series). Amsterdam: ETI, Expert-center for Taxonomic Identification, University of Amsterdam. [details] 
This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library  or the Pure staff  of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure  to edit your publications.
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