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Our group’s research is on the evolutionary and behavioral ecology of birds. Of particular interest is the evolution of life histories and conservation biology of seabirds like boobies and albatrosses. We ask questions about the influence of variables such as costs of reproduction, environmental heterogeneity, and genetic architecture on the evolution of characters like clutch size, offspring sex ratio, and sibling competition. Since 1984 we have pursued a major field research effort in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador on boobies, taking advantage of their tolerance of humans for comparative and experimental approaches to issues in evolutionary and behavioral ecology.

Some of our current projects:

  • ecology of sleep in Galapagos seabirds
  • personality, organizational effects on behavior, senescence, quantitative genetics of life history traits, and foraging ecology of Nazca boobies
  • conservation biology of blue-footed boobies and waved albatrosses
  • sex-specific daily cycles under continuous daylight in high latitude murres

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Wake Forest University Department of Biology