Project proposal details

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Project title
Does Adult Sex Ratio predict parental care in the Black-winged Stilts?
Contact name
Dr Afonso Rocha and Dr Julia Schroeder (internal supervisor)
Contact email
Project based at
Silwood Park (Imperial)
Imperial contact email
Project description
Sex roles are some of the most diverse social behaviour and parenting exhibit variation between and within species. Caring females and competitive males are at the base of conventional sex role. Spatial and temporal shift in sex role is not uncommon, and the causes of these fluctuations in shorebirds populations are not fully understood. Adult sex ratio (ASR) define as the number of adult males to adult females in the population is becoming increasingly recognized as an important predictor in mating systems and parental care.
This project aims to analyse the ASR on parental care behaviour of Black-winged stilts (Himantopus himantopus) breeding at saltpans in the south bank of Tagus estuary, Portugal, using incubation behaviour (as the measure of parental care) alongside variables that affect avian incubation (ambient temperature, Julian and incubation days).

Ekanayake KB, Weston MA, Nimmo DG, Maguire GS, Endler JA, K├╝pper C. 2015. The bright incubate at night: Sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci. 282(1806). doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.3026
Rocha AD, Fonseca D, Masero JA, Ramos JA. 2016. Coastal saltpans are a good alternative breeding habitat for Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus when umbrella species are present. J Avian Biol. 484 doi:10.1111/jav.00883.
Additional requirements
Students should first contact Dr Julia Schroeder ( Adventurous and energetic to do the fieldwork in a Portuguese-speaking country.
Date uploaded

Project proposal limitations

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Suitable for
Ecology Evolution and Conservation