Congratulations to Louise!

A BIG congratulations to Louise on achieving a first class Honours for her thesis on Gouldian finches!

Louise has been working hard over the last year looking at the relative importance of predation in maintaining the red and black head colours of the Gouldian finch. By examining behavioral differences between the morphs (at waterholes, when highly susceptible to attack), by measuring their conspicuousness (to avian predators) using visual modelling, as well as experimentally exposing red and black models (freeze-dried naturally deceased birds) to avian predators, she found stong evidence for disruptive selection. Red birds were most conspicuous on natural grey (rock and sand) backgrounds, while black birds where highly conspicuous on red backgrounds (sand and rocks), and predators selectively targeted black models on red backgrounds (but not grey) and red birds on grey backgrounds (but not red). More information is available at the Pryke Lab.

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