SPEAKER: Professor Mike Webster, Department of Neurobiology & Behaviour, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, New York
DATE: Friday, 30th October 2015
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room KE1.207 (CADET building)
TIME: 12:00 noon
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood LT12; and Warrnambool Campus, Room C1.13
ABSTRACT: Sexual signals, such as plumage coloration and song in male birds, are typically highly variable across individuals within a population.
This variation is thought to signal individual quality to conspecifics, information that females can use in selecting mates and males can use in avoiding rivals.
But for such signaling to be stable, there must be associated costs that maintain (relatively) honest signaling. In our studies of red-backed fairy-wrens we have been exploring potential physiological and social costs, and hence the signaling value, of bright plumage coloration in males.
In this talk I will give a progress report on that work, including new “hot off the presses” results that we are still struggling to interpret
BIO: Prof Mike Webster is on sabbatical in Geelong from Cornell University, where he is Director of the MaCaulay Sound Laboratory.
Mike’s interests lie in acoustic and visual signalling, their proximate control and evolutionary underpinnings. Mike works on a number of Australian birds and is really interested in learning about what’s going on at Deakin.
Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Natasha Kaukov.
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