Rm: 4319 Bioscience Complex
Tel: (613) 533-6142
Faculty Web Site: http://www.queensu.ca/biology/people/faculty/ratcliffe.html
RESEARCH AREA/POTENTIAL PROJECTS
My research has focused on sexual signalling in songbirds, which provide excellent models for understanding major evolutionary processes such as sexual selection and speciation, key to generating biodiversity. With the global decline in songbird populations, our lab has also become increasingly interested in understanding how events outside the breeding season, notably during migration and the over-wintering period, may affect breeding success. Most of our work has been carried out at Queen’s Biology Station, where we have established long-term population studies on individually marked birds of both migrant and resident species. We have combined a variety of techniques and tools from bioacoustics, molecular ecology and geochemistry, coupled with novel field experiments and life history analyses. In 2012 our main focus is studying variation in cognitive behaviour in partially migratory populations of Western Bluebirds breeding in the Okanagan region of southern BC.
I expect to take on 2 Honour’s students for 2012-13. Two SWEP positions for this summer are currently advertised (see SWEP Job #41601, Field Assistants; applications close early February). Students interested in these projects must be available to start field work on 1 May 2012. Please email Dr. Ratcliffe with any questions.
Proposed 537 projects are listed below, but other studies may also be developed, depending on student interest:
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