As part of our collaborative, NSF-funded project on cultural and genetic evolution in lyrebirds, lab group undergraduates Chloe Mikles ’20 and Kelsie Lopez ’21, joined by Kevin Macias ’21 and Eric Hughes ’21, are currently in the Blue Mountains of Australia studying the Superb Lyrebird. The group is working with Vicky Austin, a PhD student at Western Sydney University, researching song and behavior in the female lyrebird. They are searching for lyrebird nests in the mountains and recording females to better understand the context of female vocalizations and the cultural evolution of song. They are also collecting feathers to use for genomic population dynamic analyses when they return to the Lab in the fall.
Another team comprised of Hannah Mirando ’22 and Tristan Herwood ’22 are further north around Brisbane studying the Albert’s Lyrebird with Australian PhD student Fiona Backhouse.
Follow along with their work here! https://openexplorer.nationalgeographic.com/expedition/lyrebirding