Behavioural Ecology and Evolution Lab

Our research combines studies of behaviour and genomics to understand the genomics of behavioural traits in birds and their importance in reproductive isolation among related species. Our primary study system is tinkerbirds, which are African barbets found in forest and savannah throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

OUR LATEST RESEARCH

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Red feather colour is associated with a variant  linked to the CYP2J19 gene, implicated in the conversion of yellow dietary carotenoids to red ketocarotenoids. Our study, published in Molecular Ecology, investigated this question across a natural hybrid zone between yellow-fronted and red-fronted tinkerbirds.

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.

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