divided in the following areas (with substantial overlap) (click on each box to find more).
TROPICAL BIRD LIFE
and self-maintenance are the most important
activities in the life cycles of tropical
self-maintenance activity is feather
molt (shedding and re-growth of feathers). Both
(breeding and molting) influence the fitness of an individual at
Reproduction ensures the evolutionary advantage of
gene transfer into the next generation, but is
While molt leads to increasing
fitness by improving thermoregulation and
performance during foraging and/or escape.
both activities are energetically demanding they should occur at
separate times and
commonly occurring sequentially. Typically reproduction precedes molt
and occurs in early spring
in temperate regions. Once the offspring are
independent, the parents will undergo a complete
acquire a new and functional plumage. This separation of reproduction
is traditionally accounted for as being a trade-off between
activities that compete with each other
for limited resources.
wish to explore both the mechanisms and ecological cues that birds use
to determine when to
undertake each of these mayor starges in their
life-cycle. In doing so
I will compare activity data and heart rate frequencies to determine
costs and possible consequences/adaptations in feather
different species in cloud mountain forests in Colombia, starting Fall
COMMUNITY COMPOSITION (top)
communities don't simply
come together as a collection of individuals that "happen" to be there.
seems to be a
balancing or ordering structure within the composition of avian
this balance based on guilds, weights, size, phylogeny?
Studying cloud mountain
forests, I wish to
understand the underlying reason that enables bird communities to
assemble in particular
ALTITUDINAL MIGRATION (top)
this amazing phenomenon in which organisms move across a large aea in
their lifetimes, has
been widely study at the
latitudinal level and mostly North to South, but little is known abut
that happens along mountains. To date
there are some
wonderful examples of this in areas of Costa Rica,
but what about the
mountains of Colombia where the altitudinal difference can be of around
There is some common knowledge that different
species of hummingbirds, rallies, flycatchers and tanagers
different times of the year. I want to understand why they
migrate, which are the cues they use
to navigate their migration, what
are some of the activities that
this migration carries on among others.
have part of the world in our
hands. Scientific collections allow us to wonder and understand
the diversity and
complexity of biological entities. Scientific collections are actual
centers for biological,
research. In resent years scientific collections have been
somehow abandoned in favor of modern
techniques. These are not just cool places
to visit, but are actually repositories of
knowledge waiting to be
discovered, studied and preserved. As part of
my past and
research I plan to use and encourage others to
use and contribute to scientific collections.
why are they so many species in the tropics? Is it just because of the
and speciation events? It it because of the
of life histories that enables the coexistence
of slightly different
species in small ranges? Is there an underlying mechanism that
the number of species according to ecological and
evolutionary factors, if so what is this mechanism?
that have inspired biologist for years. I don't mean to answer all of
not even one, but I do aim to contribute to part of the
understanding of the how and why of
this gorgeous biodiversity in
tropical areas, mainly in Neotropical lands.
Colombia has around 76 raptor species with some overlap in their
distribution area. However the information
regarding variuos aspects of
their biology and ecology are at best limited with almost no
issues liker their habitat preferences or reproductive
biology. As well, the country is pretty much a "black hole"
the migration rutes of several raptors that journey from North to South
America. Once the birds
pass the corridor of Central America it is
possible that different species and even diferent genders take
rutes within the northern part of South Americ abut such
information is to date lacking.
I'm interested in birds of prey movements within their habitats, their
migratory routs and navegational
systems as well as their reproductive
biology and interaction with other raptors.