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I study birds that have been part of long-term population studies (>20 years). Most recently, I have been doing fieldwork on Superb fairy-wrens in the National Botanic Gardens in Canberra (in collaboration with Andrew Cockburn) and on Red-winged fairy-wrens in Smith Brook nature reserve in Western Australia (in collaboration with Lyanne Brouwer). Both these populations are fully pedigreed and due to the birds extreme philopatry they provide excellent longitudinal data for studying trait change. Australian fairy-wrens (Malurus genus), renowned for their promiscuity, are the best studied bird genus in the southern hemisphere, and also offer excellent opportunities for comparative research. To this end, I use long-term data from purple-crowned, red-backed, splendid, white-winged, blue-breasted and variegated fairy-wrens, which is collected by collaborators throughout Australia (drawings P. Marsack).




I have also been working on Eurasian oystercatchers for many years, which have been studies since 1983 on a barrier island in the Dutch Wadden Sea (in collaboration with Bruno Ens, Kees Oosterbeek & Joost Tinbergen). Most recently we also started working on two other islands and in inland areas on a larger scale. In addition, I have published on various other well-known avian model species, such as Seychelles warblers, Great tits, Eurasian spoonbills, Pied avocets, Common terns, Redshanks and Black-headed gulls.



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            last updated 24/10/17