Burns Lab Updates Spring 2021

Time for an update of Burns lab news from the past 6 months. First off, I would like to highlight three recent papers by Burns lab students:

Nick Vinciguerra published one of the chapters of his MS thesis, looking at bill evolution in tanagers:

Bill diversity in tanagers, from Vinciguerra et al. 2021

Amelia Demery published one of the chapters of her MS thesis, together with former Burns lab student Nick Mason. She looked at the interplay between song and bill evolution in tanagers:

Figure from Demery et al. 2021, showing vocalizations of Sporophila angoensis

Brian Myers published another paper from his dissertation. This paper focused on Allen’s Hummingbirds, highlighting their colonization from the Channel Islands to mainland California. He also wrote a blog post about it. 

Figure from Myers et al. 2021; Allen’s Hummingbird and distribution on the Channel Islands and mainland California

In addition to papers, huge congratulations to Sarah Hood who received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Sarah just finished the second year of her MS studying population genetics and migration in the Allen’s Hummingbird.

Sarah Hood and Allen’s Hummingbird

Congrats also to Burns lab undergraduate Aubtin Rouhbakhsh who was admitted to the graduate program at the University of Hawaii. We wish Aubtin the best of luck!

Aubtin watching Allen’s Hummingbirds

Congrats to graduate student Michael Tofflemire who received a grant from LA Audubon’s Schreiber fund for his dissertation research on the comparative phylogeography of California birds.

Wrentit (Chamaea fasciata), one of the birds Michael is studying for his dissertation

Lastly, starting in late March, we were able to resume in-person Ornithology class field trips. It was great to take students in the field again. Below are some photo highlights. Check this link for some more pictures of Ornithology class field trips this year and previous years.

Black-chinned Hummigbird, Mission Trails Regional Park
Greater Roadrunner, Mission Trails Regional Park
Snowy Egret, San Diego River
Acorn Woodpecker, Mount Laguna
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