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Ecological & evolutionary physiology

Tieleman group - Research

Birds are fascinating! They differ in their physiology and behavior to live in different climates and to deal with challenges from their environment. Some birds are resident yearround. They face annual patterns of changing environmental conditions. Others are migratory - avoiding environmental vicissitudes at considerable travel-costs - and encounter spatial variation in environmental circumstances. Differences in physiology and behavior among birds are associated with a large variation in life histories. Some birds live long, others short. Some produce a single chick every couple of years, others focus on mass-production. We try to understand the lifes of birds by working on several study systems. These study systems complement each other because they highlight different aspects of physiological and behavioral solutions to cope with environmental variation.

The keyword in our studies is integration. We combine knowledge of physiology, ecology, behavior, and evolution. We try to study in great detail the physiological mechanisms that underly individual decisions, to the level of the genes. We want to better understand interactions among physiological systems, behavior and the environment. That should give us some clues about where, when and how evolution acts to bring about the global diversity and distribution of birds.

Last modified:17 May 2019 1.58 p.m.