Nadje Studies hummingbird genomics, flight, and migration. She got her Ph.D. at the University of North Colorado under Dr. Lauryn Benedict, studying rock wren song and migration. Now she's helping us with the genomics of Allen's & Rufous Hummingbird courtship displays, and she's hoping to find the genes for migration in Allen's Hummingbirds. Pictured: Krista LePiane, recent lab alum.
Using a hummingbird hybrid zone between Allen’s (Selasphorus sasin) and Rufous (Selasphorus rufus) Hummingbird, I am studying sexual display behavior of each species across the area of contact and throughout their ranges. My research aims to study how genetics, morphology, and behavior vary across a hybrid zone and to potentially discover the genomic regions associated with a novel, unlearned behavior in Allen’s Hummingbird. To achieve these goals, I conduct field work to record displays, capture the individual performing the observed displays, and perform genetic and morphological analyses to look for correlations between genes in each individual and their phenotype (behavior and morphology).
Studies hybridization in hummingbirds (Anna's x Costa's, Black-chinned x Ruby-throated, and Rufous x Allen's). Officially Elisa is Alan Brelsford's student, but she studies hummingbirds, meaning she's one of us. Pictured is Sean Wilcox, recent lab alum. When we figure out this .html editor better we will replace his picture with Elisa's.
I'm interested in studying behavioral ecology and animal communication. My research centers on the inter-play between sound, behavior, kinematics, and perception. I am currently studying hummingbird hearing and perception and hope to develop methods of studying hearing as well as methods of researching timbre and temporal perception in female hummingbirds. In the future I hope to create an audiogram and a real-time filter that will help us understand what hummingbird females perceive.
I'm currently working on a range of projects in the lab, ranging from examining hummingbird tail feather shapes to studying birds in the field. This past year I've collecting fecal samples from hummingbirds on the Channel Island to examine seasonal diet shifts, investigated interactions between hummingbirds and invasive Argentine Ants, and conducted a geometric morphometric analysis of hummingbird tail feathers. In the coming year I'll be tracking migratory hummingbirds through California and collecting samples to examine how pathogens are spread at floral resources.