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Join us in The Poor Relation as we take to the air for some high flying talks on bird behaviour and bee genetics that are sure to leave you buzzing. Never too late to learn about the birds and the bees!
Sexual Selection and Cognition in Great Tits (Parus major).
Ciara Sexton (Masters Student in Zoology, UCC)
Ciara Sexton will talk about several traits involved in sexual selection in great tits; rates of extra-pair paternity and measurements of sperm morphology. She will examine why individual males may adopt varying strategies in order to maximise their reproductive success. She will also address several other factors which may be influencing this variation such as habitat quality, population density, and cognition. She will talk about how the findings of my study could help to improve our understanding of the behaviour of great tits.
Can Genetics Help Bumblebee Conservation?
Dr Joe Colgan (Post-Doctoral Researcher in Biological, Earth, & Environmental Sciences, UCC)
Bumblebees are fascinating insects. They pollinate agricultural crops that we eat and help maintain local plant biodiversity. Despite their importance, bumblebees like other insect pollinators are in decline. Joe Colgan will introduce us to the life-cycle of the bumblebee, specifically mentioning how bumblebees differ from their honeybee cousins. He'll walk us through some of the environmental challenges bumblebees face and discuss what role genetics can play in helping us understand how bumblebees are responding to changing environments.
How do Great Tits Decide What to Have for Dinner?
Picture this: the choice between your favourite flavour cake or a bowl of fruit... how hard would you be prepared to work to have your favourite? Jenny Coomes will talk about how one of our well-known garden birds, the great tit, decides what to have for dinner. Her work looks at variation in the choices of individuals under different conditions, to help us understand the foraging decisions they make.