Dr Gabriel Jamie presents webinar on Africa’s brood-parasitic birds for BirdLife South Africa

May 12, 2021

Dr Gabriel Jamie gave a webinar titled: “Africa’s Avian Cheats: Exploring the deceitful ways of cuckoos, honeyguides and parasitic finches”. The talk was part of BirdLife South Africa’s Conservation Conversation series and explores the amazing world of brood-parasitic birds in Africa. You can watch a recording of the talk here:  https://youtu.be/7fesIIK2_Wk

Brood parasites are species that forego their parental duties. Instead lay their eggs in the nests of other birds and force them to rear their young. Africa is the continent with the greatest diversity of brood-parasitic birds on Earth. This includes many species of cuckoo, honeyguide and parasitic finch. Whilst all these birds face the common challenge of sneaking their eggs into the nests of another bird unnoticed and getting that bird to feed a foreign nestling, the solutions they have reached are extremely varied. These brood-parasites are entirely dependent on a small number of host species for their survival and their conservation is therefore intimately connected to the fate of their hosts. Conversely, host populations can be severely impacted by parasitism especially when host species are already endangered for other reasons. In this talk, Gabriel showcased some of the diverse strategies developed by the brood parasites of Africa to trick and exploit their hosts. He also highlighted the conservation implications of such interactions and show how a detailed knowledge of these birds’ breeding biologies is essential to conserving them.

African cuckoo


Symposium on moult in tropical birds at International Ornithological Congress

Dr Gabriel Jamie and Dr Chima Nwaogu organised a symposium on “The ecology and evolution of moult in tropical birds” as part of the International Ornithological Congress. The symposium included a Round Table discussion as well as invited talks from a range of speakers including Dr Yahkat Barshep (A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Nigeria), Dr Barbara Helm (Swiss Ornithological Research Institute, Switzerland), Dr Oluwadunsin Adekola (FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, South Africa & Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria) and Dr Yosef Kiat (University of Haifa, Israel).

read more

Dr Gabriel Jamie speaks at European Society for Evolutionary Biology conference

Dr Gabriel Jamie was an invited speaker at the European Society for Evolutionary Biology conference in Prague, Czech Republic, as part of the symposium on “Repeated and Parallel Evolution in Adaptive Radiations. Gabriel spoke on “The persistence of polymorphisms across species radiations” building on work conducted together with Dr Joana Meier. To learn more about this research you can read their Trends in Ecology and Evolution paper here.

read more

Evolutionary Biology Crash Course

Tanmay Dixit was a member of a team organising and lecturing in the inaugural Evolutionary Biology Crash Course. This course, aimed at undergraduate or early-postgraduate students, teaches evolutionary principles to students who have had limited opportunities to be exposed to evolutionary ideas. The course is funded by the Equal Opportunities Initiative Fund of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology (ESEB). Tanmay presented lectures on behavioural ecology and evolution, focussing on kin selection, coevolution, and parasitism. Over 700 students, with the vast majority from the global South, attended the course, which was a resounding success!

read more