Death by Parasitism in Darwin’s Finches

Press/Media: Research

Description

A field blog written during a trip studying parasitised birds in the Galapagos Islands

Subject

On January 23rd, 2016, we embark on a 4-week journey to study the famous group of birds, Darwin’s finches, on the unique and treasured Galapagos Islands.

Our team? Two researchers from Australia: Professor Sonia Kleindorfer from Flinders University (Adelaide, SA), Dr Rachael Dudaniec from Macquarie University (Sydney, NSW), PhD student from Harvard University (USA), and a field ornithologist assistant from Ecuador. We are biologists (in Animal Behaviour, Conservation Genomics, Evolutionary Ecology) building upon a long-term study of Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands.

What are we doing? We are setting out to answer questions about the impacts and evolution of a deadly introduced parasitic fly, Philornis downsi, that kills the majority of nestling finches on Galapagos. We are also out to answer questions about speciation and hybridisation among the finches, and how to best manage their declining populations.

Period23 Jan 2016

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