Behavioural Ecology and Evolution Lab
We are interested in interactions among animals. How do individuals respond when faced by a competitor, a rival, or a mate? Why do some species coexist with related species, while others do not? We examine phenotypic and genetic factors that might explain the extent of interactions between individuals in birds, in studies on different continents, as well as studying a variety of questions on the behaviour, ecology, and evolution of birds.
OUR LATEST RESEARCH
Smithornis broadbills produce a loud mechanical sound during an elliptical flight display. With collaborators Christopher Clark at UC Riverside and Richard O. Prum from Yale, we explored how broadbills produce sound with aeroelastic flutter of specific flight feathers.
Yellow-rumped tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus) is a widespread resident of sub-Saharan Africa, favouring forest and riparian habitat, but is also found in parks and gardens. We have been exploring geographic variation in phenotypic characters and related them to phylogenetic analysis to delineate its species limits and understand its historical biogeography. Two recent publications show discordance between song variation and genetic distance among East African populations, and that the enigmatic white-chested tinkerbird is actually nested within yellow-rumped tinkerbird.