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Conserving our wildlife heritage: comparative biomechanics of feeding in native and introduced minks

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MINKS project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MINKS project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MINKS" about.

foods    er    carnivorans    compare    unclear    population    neovison    york    morphology    3dgm    populations    opportunity    zoological    jaws    american    fea    3d    species    pair    minks    differences    skull    microct    inform    mechanical    computer    larger    mammal    anatomical    iodine    scans    uk    human    cahs    threatened    independent    morphological    habitat    university    function    shape    dietary    innovative    feeding    architecture    variety    decade    muscular    invasive    finite    disseminated    geometric    last    performance    enhanced    strategies    vison    restart    suggest    researcher    modelled    combine    facilities    overlap    statistical    mustela    morphometrics    occurs    restricted    degradation    anatomy    techniques    subjected    first    centre    food    career    expertise    mink    halved    morphometric    items    sciences    carnivoran    conservation    methodology    lutreola    solutions    introduction    simulation    survivability    virtual    academic    competition   

Project "MINKS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: YO10 5DD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 319˙400 €
 EC max contribution 319˙400 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2018
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-CAR
 Starting year 2019
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2019-09-01   to  2022-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF YORK UK (YORK NORTH YORKSHIRE) coordinator 319˙400.00


 Project objective

The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is the second most threatened mammal in Europe. In the last decade, its population has been halved by habitat degradation and introduction of American Mink (Neovison vison) populations. This invasive species is larger and less habitat-restricted than the European mink. It is unclear whether dietary overlap occurs between these mink species, although skull morphology would suggest that the American mink has access to a wider variety of food items. MINKS aims to compare the mechanical performance of the jaws in feeding to assess the range of potential foods and extent of dietary competition between both mink species. To accomplish this, MINKS will combine computer modelling techniques (iodine-enhanced microCT scans, finite element analysis (FEA)) with 3D geometric morphometric methods (3DGM) for statistical shape analysis. Differences in skull morphology between both mink species will be assessed, and the skull anatomy of each species will be 3D modelled and subjected to FEA, which will then be compared using 3DGM. MINKS will pair the morphological and zoological expertise of the experienced researcher (ER) with the state-of-the-art facilities for morphometrics and virtual simulation at the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences (CAHS), University of York (UK). This will provide the ER with the opportunity to restart his academic career and develop into an independent researcher. MINKS represents the first 3D study on muscular architecture in carnivorans, and also the first application of CAHS’ whole-system-function methodology to the study of carnivoran anatomy. The results of this research will be applied to develop innovative target-specific solutions that allow controlling American mink populations, particularly in areas where the food items available increase the survivability of the European mink. These findings will be disseminated to mink conservation projects to inform conservation strategies.

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The information about "MINKS" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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