New paper on eggshell surface properties

May 24, 2023

Eggs in a zitting cisticola nest

Stephanie McClelland’s paper entitled “Eggshell composition and surface properties of avian brood-parasitic species compared with non-parasitic species” has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. This study measured structural properties of the eggshells of brood parasites and their hosts around the world. The study found that, in general, brood parasites’ eggshell properties were not different from hosts’ eggshell properties. However, for one of the properties measured, the surface roughness of eggshells, brood parasites’ eggshells were more similar to those of their hosts than to other species. Overall, though, the lack of a clear pattern in the eggshells of brood parasites and their hosts suggests that factors such as the phylogenetic history of these species might be more important in determining eggshell properties than parasitism or nest environment. In Zambia, Stephanie collaborated with Nick Horrocks, Gabriel Jamie, Tanmay Dixit, and Claire Spottiswoode, working on honeyguides, cuckoo finches, and Vidua finches. Well done Steph and everyone on the team!

Citation: McClelland SC, Attard MRG, Bowen J, Horrocks NPC, Jamie GA, Dixit T, Spottiswoode CN, Portugal SJ. 2023 Eggshell composition and surface properties of avian brood-parasitic species compared with non-parasitic species. R. Soc. Open Sci.10: 221023. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.221023

 

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Tanmay Dixit awarded PhD and starting Junior Research Fellowship

Tanmay’s PhD, entitled “Signatures and forgeries: optimality in a coevolutionary arms race” was awarded with no corrections. Huge thanks to collaborators and colleagues who were instrumental to this work, and to examiners James Herbert-Read and Graeme Ruxton. Tanmay will remain on the team and continue conducting fieldwork in Choma as part of the Junior Research fellowship that he is starting at Jesus College, Cambridge.

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