Biography & Research
Abayomi Yinka Omotayo (Yinka) graduated from Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Wildlife Management. He spent some time as an intern at the AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (Weppa research station) in Nigeria, where he developed profound interest in Ornithology and acquired some ornithological field experience. His interest span across trees, birds and environmental changes; most importantly, those brought about by climate change. Yinka seeks to combine his expertise in these key areas to better understand how phenological changes in trees relate to breeding phenology in birds.
Yinka is fascinated by how the occurrence of greening before the onset of the rainy season relates to breeding phenology in birds. Birds derive their food, nesting materials as well as cover from materials of floral origin whose availabilities are controlled by environmental conditions especially as determined by annual rainfall pattern, yet some birds breed before the rains. Yinka is particularly interested in understanding whether these birds adjust their breeding period to match the annual onset of greening (i.e. a proxy for food availability) or in response to other perceived or anticipated sets of environmental conditions.
He is currently a Masters student at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town, supported by a Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. Yinka will be exploring the occurrence and determinants of pre-rain green-up and its association with bird breeding seasonality in the miombo woodlands of Zambia, under the supervision of Dr Chima Nwaogu and Prof. Claire Spottiswoode.