Bird Migration - Evolutionary Genetics of Migratory Behaviour
Understanding the genetics of bird migration is a long-standing goal in evolutionary biology. Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla are ideal for this work as different populations exhibit enormous difference in migratory behaviour and little else. We characterize (i) phenotype, population structure and demographic history the blackcap, and (ii) identify sequence variants and signaling pathways that are associated with variation of the migratory phenotype.
My talk covers insight from classical studies on selection and cross-breeding experiments, tracking approaches in the wild, to finally introducing novel insight from using a de novo assembled genome of the blackcap as reference for large scale demographic study with different phenotypes across their breeding range.