New collaboration on bronze-winged coursers

Nov 30, 2021

Collins Moya and Jess Lund with a bronze-winged courser

Claire Spottiswoode and Jess Lund from the African Cuckoos team are collaborating on a new project tracking the movements of bronze-winged coursers. Together with Bart Kempenaers, Eunbi Kwon, and Mihai Valcu (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology), as well as fire ecologist Sally Archibald (University of Witwatersrand), the team is investigating little-known aspects of the coursers’ natural history. These birds tend to nest in recently-burnt areas, with incredibly camouflaged eggs and chicks which look like burnt tufts of grass! However, their secretive nature means that the way they move between burnt areas remains a mystery. Studying these birds may also help to understand historic fire regimes across sub-Saharan Africa.  


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).

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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.

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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!

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