Saskia Wischnewski


Saskia graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc. Hons. in Marine Biology in 2013. For her honours thesis, she looked at gender differences in nest attendance patterns of chick rearing Fulmars under the supervision of Prof. Paul Thompson.

Before and during her studies, she has worked and volunteered for several ornithological and marine research institutions during which she developed her passion for birds and the marine environment. Examples are the Avian Research Institute “Vogelwarte Helgoland” (DE), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Marine and Polar Research (DE) and the Vancouver Avian Research Centre (CA).

After graduation and before starting her MSc. at UCC, she was a research and field assistant in Dr. Christian Rutz’s research group at the University of St. Andrews, which focuses on tool-use behaviour in New Caledonian crows.

Research Interests

Saskia has a very keen interest in seabird ecology in general. At the moment she is particularly interested in understanding how the geographic location of colonies and resulting differences in environmental conditions affect the foraging behaviour and labour allocation of breeding pairs.

She started her current two year research masters in July 2014 under the supervision of Prof. John Quinn and Dr. Mark Jessopp, after which she spent two field seasons tracking multiple seabird species on Islands along the Irish South and West coast. Her thesis, which will focus on the at-sea behaviour of Irish seabirds during the breeding season (mainly Manx Shearwaters and Razorbills), is part of a larger project funded by the Petroleum Infrastructure Programme. It aims to address a major gap in knowledge about the at-sea distribution of Irish seabirds by developing a model that identifies seabird abundance and diversity hot-spots.


  1. Wischnewski, S. (2013).  Redefining gender roles by assessing nest attendance patterns in chick rearing fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis)?  Unpublished honours thesis, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK.
  2. Rutz, C., Klump, B.C., Komarczyk, L., Leighton, R., Kramer, J., Wischnewski, S., Sugasawa, S., Morrissey, M.B., James, R., St Clair, J.J., Switzer, R.A., and Masuda, B.M., 2016. Discovery of species-wide tool use in the Hawaiian crowNature, 537(7620), pp.403-407.



Saskia Wischnewski

Contact Details:


PhD Student


Postgraduate Students

UCC Ornithology Research Group

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UCC North Mall Campus, North Mall, Cork City,