Friday, February 26, 2016

Galápagos 4.0

2016 is another year, yet it's also a different year. I started my FQRNT postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge with Dr. Claire Spottiswoode. I am incredibly excited to be working there for the next two years! My postdoctoral work takes me back to the Galápagos where I will be working on two projects.

The view from Bartolome Island

The first will be looking at how gut microbiomes can vary among finches in urban areas, near urban areas, and pristine areas. My colleague, Dr. Sarah Knutie and I, want to see how this gut microbiome variation might affect immune  response to an invasive parasitic house fly Philornis downsi. You can see our video we made to crowd fund for this research through Instrumentl. Thank you to all our generous donors who made this field research possible!

Darwin's finches munching on leftovers at a restaurant in Puerto Ayora
Dinner time at the Kioskos in Puerto Ayora

The second project is my postodoctoral research that focuses on behavioural adaptation in Darwin's finches in relation to invasive predators such as house cats and black rats. My goal will be to quantify behavioural differences in finches in relation to the presence or absence of these predators, and to hopefully see if there is a genetic basis for this behavioural adaptation.

The best kind of invasive house cat on the Galápagos Islands

Internet is always fickle in the field, so posting will be sporadic, but we will keep you posted on our work! Follow us on twitter at @PinzonTeam @photopidge @sarahknutie and like us on Facebook!

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