Mariëlle L. van Toor

Estimating the effects of large-scale animal movements on the environment through quantitative models

In short, I am a movement ecologist with a soft spot for ducks and bats.

More specifically, I want to understand the movements and movement decisions of individuals through a combination of animal telemetry and remotely sensed environmental information. By integrating movement models with population and physiological processes I hope to increase our understanding of the consequences of animal movement on the environment, such as the dispersal of seeds and pathogens.

I currently work as a researcher in the team of Prof. Jonas Waldenström at Linnaeus University in Kalmar, Sweden.

Current projects

Avian influenza in Bangladesh

Find more information here.

The role of wild birds in the long-distance dispersal of AIV (part of Delta-Flu)

You can find more information about Delta-Flu on the project homepage here.

Baltic Sea Motus network

Find out more about it here.


  • Ahlstrom, C.A., van Toor, M.L., Woksepp, H., Chandler, J.C., Reed, J.A., Reeves, A.B., Waldenström, J., Franklin, A.B., Douglas, D.C., Bonnedahl, J., & Ramey, A. (2021) Evidence for continental-scale dispersal of antimicrobial resistant bacteria by landfill-foraging gulls. Science of the Total Environment, 764, e144551. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., O’Mara, M.T., Abedy-Lartey, M., Wikelski, M., Fahr, J., & Dechmann, D.K.N. (2019). Linking colony size with quantitative estimates of ecosystem services of African fruit bats. Current Biology, 29 (7), 237-238. DOI:
  • Kleyheeg, E., Fiedler, W., Safi, K., Waldenström, J., Wikelski, M., & van Toor, M.L. (2019). A comprehensive model for the quantitative estimation of seed dispersal by migratory mallards. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution, 7, 40. DOI:
  • Tucker, M. A., Alexandrou, O., Bierregaard Jr, R. O., Bildstein, K. L., et al. (2019). Large birds travel farther in homogeneous environments. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 28 (5), 576-587. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Avril, A., Wu, G., Holan, S., & Waldenström, J. (2018) As the duck flies – Estimating the dispersal of low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses by migrating mallards. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution, 6, 208. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Kranstauber, B., Newman, S.H., Prosser, D.J., Takekawa J.Y., Technitis, G., Weibel, R., Wikelski, M. & Safi, K. (2018) Integrating animal movement with habitat suitability for estimating dynamic migratory connectivity. Landscape Ecology, 33 (6), 879-893. DOI:
  • Sztukowski, L.A., van Toor, M.L., Weimerskirch, H., Thompson, D.R., Torres, L.G., Sagar, P.M., Cotton, P.A. & Votier, S.C. (2017) Tracking reveals limited interactions between Campbell Albatross and fisheries during the breeding season. Journal of Ornithology, 158 (3), 725-735. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Arriero, E., Holland, R.A., Huttunen, M.J., Juvaste, R., Müller, I., Thorup, K., Wikelski, M. & Safi, K. (2017) Flexibility of habitat use in novel environments: Insights from a translocation experiment with Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Royal Society Open Science, 4, 160164. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Newman, S.H., Takekawa J.Y., Wegmann, M. & Safi, K. (2016) Temporal segmentation of animal trajectories informed by habitat use. Ecosphere, 7(10), e01498. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Hedenström, A., Waldenström, J., Fiedler, W., Holland, R.A., Thorup, K. & Wikelski, M. (2013). Flexibility of continental navigation and migration in European mallards. PloS one, 8(8), e72629. DOI:
  • van Toor, M.L., Jaberg, C. & Safi, K. (2011). Integrating sex-specific habitat use for conservation using habitat suitability models. Animal Conservation, 14(5), 512-520. DOI:

Published data sets

I am committed to open data, and movement data from ongoing projects are available to see for everyone on Movebank. We try to publish our data sets alongside our studies, so you’ll be able to directly access and download our published data sets from the Movebank Data Repository. I have not always been involved in the actual data collection, so it is best to direct questions about the data to the contact person on the study.

Navigation and migration in European mallards

ARGOS-GPS data from mallards captured at Ottenby. Some individuals were displaced to Lake Constance in Southern Germany prior to release.

Tracking data DOI: 10.5441/001/1.8dc0v84m

Publication DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0072629

Dabbling duck migration Ottenby 2017

GPS-trajectories of mallards captured at Ottenby during autumn migration.

Tracking data DOI: 10.5441/001/1.3fv21n7m

Publication DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00208

Tracking Data for Three Large-bodied Gull Species and Hybrids (Larus spp.)

GPS-tracks of large gulls (glaucous-winged Larus glaucescens, herring gulls Larus argentatus, glaucous gulls Larus hyperboreus, and potential hybrids) captured during summer in several locations in Alaska.

Tracking data DOI:

Publication DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144551

Straw-coloured fruit bats

Foraging trajectories of colonial-living bats in several places in West Africa, tracked during both the dry and wet season.

Tracking data DOI: 10.5441/001/1.k8n02jn8

Publication DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.02.033

Originally published here: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00200

LifeTrack Ducks Lake Constance

Migratory and resident ducks captured at Lake Constance during winter.

Movebank ID 236953686

Publication DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2019.00040

Navigation experiments in lesser black-backed gulls (data from Wikelski et al. 2015)

Data from Lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) captured in Finland and at the White Sea for several navigation experiments.

Tracking data DOI: 10.5441/001/1.q986rc29

Publication DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160164

Originally published here: 10.1038/srep17061