CIE Seminar Series 2015 – Birds not of a feather: Causes and consequences of variable sexual signalling in an Australian bird

Mike WebsterSPEAKER: 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.

External visitors – wish to join us and connect to our seminars?
The following link details how to connect: link me to seminar (Seminar conference ID 36958). By entering the conference ID and clicking submit the page will generate the required information for external staff/visitors to dial in.

Please note that connection is only available while a seminar is taking place. See exact times at the top of this page.