Events Calendar

Biology Weekly Seminar - Dr. Sue Healy

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Physics & Astronomy Building (PAB)
Room: 106
Pic of Dr. Healy

What does nest building in birds tell us about physical cognition?

Building a nest to hatch its eggs and raise its young in is probably one of the most important things a bird will do in its life time. The choices it makes about what sort of nest to build and what material to build it with will have a significant impact on the success of a nesting attempt. Despite some evidence that some learning is involved in such choices, nest building has historically been assumed to be largely genetically predetermined and inflexible.  However, we believe that the ability to learn about which materials work best and refine building techniques would be so advantageous for improving the nest structure and therefore reproductive success, that learning and memory are probably more important to this process than has previously been considered. We are currently investigating the role of learning and memory in material choice and nest construction behaviour in both Weaverbirds and Zebra Finches.

Biology Department
Jamie Kramer
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