News In the Lab

Research on Sri Lanka Drongo & new article in the Journal of Avian Biology

Sanjaya Weerakkody with a DrongoWe are currently working in Sri Lanka with Dr. Sampath Seneviratne and his student Sanjaya Weerakkody (pictured) trying to understand how an endemic species, the Sri Lanka Drongo, is vocally different from other drongos, even though it has the capacity to mimic a huge variety of sounds.

We are also excited that a new article on the relationship between vocalizations and the roles of species in mixed-species flocks is out in the Journal of Avian Biology: .


Second International Birding Race in Longzhou

Second-International-Birding-Race-in-LongzhouMarch, 2018. Our three PhD students, Jiang Demeng, Salindra Dayananda and Estelle Meaux, participated to the Second International Birding Race in Longzhou, Guangxi Province, China. The competition took place in one of our main field sites for avian studies: the karst habitat of Nonggang National Nature Reserve. This national reserve is famous for the Nonggang Babbler, a species recently described by Zhou Fang and one of our associate professors, Jiang Aiwu, in 2008. As for the previous race, Jiang Aiwu actively participated this year in organizing and managing this 3-days competition.


Translocation experiment at Thousand Island Lake

In January, 2018 we did some exploratory fieldwork in Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang Province, one of Chinese’s premier studies of habitat fragmentation. Eben Goodale, Demeng Jiang, Salindra Dayananda and Estelle Meaux tested successfully whether the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (shown here with a radiotransmitter on its back), the leading species of mixed-species flocks in the area, could be moved to a new island. In the future, we hope this system could be used to measure how important leading species are to other flock participants.


Dec 15, 2017.  Congrats to our two 2016 MSc students who successfully defended their proposals.  HE Chao presented “Levels of heavy metals in a zinc and lead mining region of southern China: levels of target and nontarget metals (mercury and cadmium) across trophic levels”, and XIE Qiao presented “The effect of noise on bird nestlings’ vocal behaviors and predation risk”.