News In the Lab

June 2018

Ruchuan and Wenjing surrounded by the thesis evaluation committee.June 2018. Congratulations to our two Master students, HE Ruchuan and ZHOU Wenjing, who successfully defended their theses, about the diversity of herbaceous plants in agricultural landscapes of Nanning (Wenjing) and the effect of mimic frequencies on predation in a Batesian mimicry system (Ruchuan).

 We are excited to announce that Ph.D. student JIANG Demeng received the Chinese Government Scholarship to finance his upcoming project at the University of Florida, USA. He will study there the content of the call of nuclear species in mixed-species flocks, under the supervision of Prof. Kathryn E. Sieving from the Department of Wildlife and Conservation.

Additionally, our Associate Professor, JIANG Aiwu was interviewed by Jiangxi TV to introduce the current situation of Nonggang babbler. Another very recent reportage on this subject has been broadcasted by the GuangxiTV, with the contribution of our master student XIE Qiao (see links below).


XIE Qiao:

Picture caption: Ruchuan and Wenjing surrounded by the thesis evaluation committee.

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”.