Adriaan Dokter

Research Associate


Bird Migration • Radar Ornithology • Foraging Ecology • Computer Science

I study the seasonal migrations of birds, from the continental-scale movements of species to the fine-scale behavior of individuals flying through the atmosphere. I use weather radar networks as well as individual tags to address questions in migration ecology, including when and where birds migrate, when and where birds die within the annual cycle, and how shifting patterns in mortality and recruitment of young birds cause bird abundances to change. I also develop software tools for biologists using weather radar as a tool in their research.

I am an ecologist with a background in physics, and my research bridges the disciplines of ecology, computer science, physics, and meteorology, addressing questions about the effects of global change on the distribution and seasonal migration of birds.

After receiving my Ph.D. at the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics in Amsterdam, I studied animal movement during postdoctoral appointments at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, the University of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. I have a continuing interest in understanding the role of individual decision making as a constituent of large-scale movement patterns, which I explored in individual tracking studies on dark-bellied brent geese (Brant) and Eurasian Oystercatchers.


Ph.D., Institute of Atomic and Molecular Physics, Amsterdam

Recent Publications

Shamoun-Baranes, J., S. Bauer, J. W. Chapman, P. Desmet, A. M. Dokter, A. Farnsworth, B. Haest, J. Koistinen, B. Kranstauber, F. Liechti, T. H. E. Mason, et al. (2021). Weather radars' role in biodiversity monitoring. Science 372:248–248.
Lameris, T. K., A. M. Dokter, J. Koster, S. H. H. Sand, C. Westerduin, and B. A. Nolet (2021). [In Press] Nocturnal foraging lifts time constraints in winter for migratory geese but hardly speeds up fueling. Behavioral Ecology.
Gangoso, L., D. S. Viana, A. M. Dokter, J. Shamoun‐Baranes, J. Figuerola, S. A. Barbosa, and W. Bouten (2020). Cascading effects of climate variability on the breeding success of an edge population of an apex predator. Journal of Animal Ecology 89:2631–2643.
Kranstauber, B., W. Bouten, H. Leijnse, B.-C. Wijers, L. Verlinden, J. Shamoun-Baranes, and A. M. Dokter (2020). High-resolution spatial distribution of bird movements estimated from a weather radar network. Remote Sensing 12:635.
Fokkema, W., H. P. van der Jeugd, T. K. Lameris, A. M. Dokter, B. S. Ebbinge, A. M. de Roos, B. A. Nolet, T. Piersma, and H. Olff (2020). Ontogenetic niche shifts as a driver of seasonal migration. Oecologia 193:285–297.
Rosenberg, K. V., A. M. Dokter, P. J. Blancher, J. R. Sauer, A. C. Smith, P. A. Smith, J. C. Stanton, A. Panjabi, L. Helft, M. Parr, and P. P. Marra (2019). Decline of the North American avifauna. Science:eaaw1313.
Lin, T., K. Winner, G. Bernstein, A. Mittal, A. M. Dokter, K. G. Horton, C. Nilsson, B. M. Van Doren, A. Farnsworth, F. A. La Sorte, S. Maji, and D. Sheldon (2019). MistNet: Measuring historical bird migration in the US using archived weather radar data and convolutional neural networks. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 10:1908–1922.
Nilsson, C., J. Bäckman, and A. M. Dokter (2019). Flocking behavior in the twilight ascents of Common Swifts Apus apus. Ibis 161:674–678.
Bauer, S., J. Shamoun‐Baranes, C. Nilsson, A. Farnsworth, J. F. Kelly, D. R. Reynolds, A. M. Dokter, J. F. Krauel, L. B. Petterson, K. G. Horton, and J. W. Chapman (2019). The grand challenges of migration ecology that radar aeroecology can help answer. Ecography 42:861–875.
Nilsson, C., A. M. Dokter, L. Verlinden, J. Shamoun‐Baranes, B. Schmid, P. Desmet, S. Bauer, J. Chapman, J. A. Alves, P. M. Stepanian, N. Sapir, et al. (2019). Revealing patterns of nocturnal migration using the European weather radar network. Ecography 42:876–886.
Horton, K. G., C. Nilsson, B. M. Van Doren, F. A. La Sorte, A. M. Dokter, and A. Farnsworth (2019). Bright lights in the big cities: Migratory birds' exposure to artificial light. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 17:209–214.
La Sorte, F. A., K. G. Horton, C. Nilsson, and A. M. Dokter (2019). Projected changes in wind assistance under climate change for nocturnally migrating bird populations. Global Change Biology 25:289 – 601.
Bulla, M., M. Valcu, A. M. Dokter, A. G. Dondua, A. Kosztolanyi, A. Rutten, B. Helm, B. K. Sandercock, B. Casler, B. J. Ens, C. S. Spiegel, et al. (2019). [In press] Defying the 24‐h day: unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds. Nature.
Liechti, F., J. Aschwanden, J. Blew, M. Boos, R. Brabant, A. M. Dokter, V. Kosarev, M. Lukach, M. Maruri, M. Reyniers, I. Schekler, et al. (2018). Cross-calibration of different radar systems for monitoring nocturnal bird migration across Europe and the Near East. Ecography.
Dokter, A. M., W. Fokkema, B. S. Ebbinge, H. Olff, H. P. van der Jeugd, and B. A. Nolet (2018). Agricultural pastures challenge the attractiveness of natural saltmarsh for a migratory goose. Journal of Applied Ecology.
Nilsson, C., A. M. Dokter, B. Schmid, M. Scacco, L. Verlinden, J. Bäckman, G. Haase, G. Dell'Omo, J. W. Chapman, H. Leijnse, and F. Liechti (2018). Field validation of radar systems for monitoring bird migration. Journal of Applied Ecology 55:2552–2564.
Nilsson, C., K. G. Horton, A. M. Dokter, B. M. Van Doren, and A. Farnsworth (2018). Aeroecology of a solar eclipse. Biology Letters 14:20180485.
Dokter, A. M., A. Farnsworth, D. Fink, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, W. M. Hochachka, F. A. La Sorte, O. J. Robinson, K. V. Rosenberg, and S. Kelling (2018). Seasonal abundance and survival of North America's migratory avifauna determined by weather radar. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2:1603–1609.
Lameris, T. K., H. P. van der Jeugd, G. Eichhorn, A. M. Dokter, W. Bouten, M. P. Boom, K. E. Litvin, B. J. Ens, and B. A. Nolet (2018). Arctic geese tune migration to a warming climate but still suffer from a phenological mismatch. Current Biology 28:2467-2473.e4.
Van Doren, B. M., K. G. Horton, A. M. Dokter, H. Klinck, S. B. Elbin, and A. Farnsworth (2017). High-intensity urban light installation dramatically alters nocturnal bird migration. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Shamoun-Baranes, J., A. Farnsworth, B. Aelterman, J. A. Alves, K. Azijn, G. Bernstein, S. Branco, P. Desmet, A. M. Dokter, K. Horton, S. Kelling, et al. (2016). Innovative visualizations shed light on avian nocturnal migration. PLOS ONE 11:e0160106.

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