1001 East Third St
Bloomington, IN 47405
Our climate is rapidly changing and it is critical that we be able to predict which species will have the capacity to adapt to change and why. My current research interest is focused to study the migratory behavior and physiology of a model songbird species, the dark-eyed junco or ‘snowbird.’ My research idea proposes to study the neurological basis of migratory behavior and reproductive timing of closely related populations of juncos that reside in the same environment in early spring, but differ in their response. While one population is setting up territories and preparing to breed, the other is preparing to migrate north and breeds only after migrating. Our research goal is to learn how they accomplish that in order to develop predictions about the capacity of avian populations to adapt to our changing climate.
My research interest will address the neurological basis of flexibility in the timing of these annual events by exploring behavioral, physiological, and neuro-mechanistic mechanisms that underlie differences in the timing of migration and reproduction in two closely associated, seasonally sympatric populations of a passerine songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), one of which shows migratory behavior (Junco hyemalis hyemalis) and the other (Junco hyemalis carolinensis) of which remains resident. Thus these populations live together prior to reproducing but process the same environmental cues in different ways.