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About us Practical matters How to find us drs. M.L.M. (Martje) Birker-Wegter

Research interests

PhD project: Do parental effects mediate adaptation to climate differences? - A study in a bird species breeding at different latitudes

I study behavioural and physiological parental effects as mechanisms to adapt to climatic extremes. More specifically, I focus on parental breeding behaviour and differential allocation of maternal yolk hormones in a small passerine bird of Chile. The thorn-tailed rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) has an extreme latitudinal and altitudinal distribution. It is a sedentary bird breeding from the limits of the hottest and driest desert of the world, the Atacama desert, to cold and stormy sub-Antarctic Patagonia. I compare the bi-parental incubation behaviour and yolk thyroid hormones between populations, and test their adaptive potential experimentally.