PROGRAMME for 2018
Monday 17 September — 6.30 pm — Huw Lloyd — Crabs, cranes, and cuckoos: developing bird conservation science in China.
Abstract: China is making tremendous efforts to reach out to the international bird conservation community to help develop its next generation of bird conservationists. Since 2010, Huw Lloyd and colleagues have been working with Chinese universities and the China Ornithological Society, helping to develop these young scientists. These research collaborations have shed new light on the ecology of migratory Red-crowned Cranes Grus japonensis, revealing how they respond to the pressures of habitat change, and what sustains their wintering population. We have discovered how some of China’s threatened bird populations are likely to respond to climate change, and how vocal individuality in populations of male Common Cuckoos Cuculus canorus can be used as a non-invasive marker for monitoring their population.
Biography: Dr Huw Lloyd is Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Biology at the Division of Biology and Conservation Ecology, Manchester Metropolitan University. For the last two decades, he has been conducting research on the ecology and conservation of threatened bird populations in Peru, Brazil, Ethiopia, China, Tonga and the UK.
Monday 12 November — 6.30 pm — Joe Tobias — The shape of birds, and why it matters.
Abstract: Birds vary widely in size from the Bee Hummingbird Mellisuga helenae to Common Ostrich Struthio camelus, and come in a staggering range of shapes. Last century, the field of ecomorphology began to shed light on the way birds are shaped by habitat preferences and foraging behaviour, but studies focused on relatively few species and left numerous gaps in understanding. This talk will explore recent research based on detailed measurements of almost all of the world’s bird species, describing how this new influx of information has been combined with spatial, phylogenetic and ecological data to help answer some fundamental questions, such as how does bird diversity arise, and how can it best be conserved?
Biography: Joe Tobias studied the behaviour of the European Robin Erithacus rubecula for his Ph.D. at Cambridge University, then worked for ten years in environmental NGOs including BirdLife International, focusing on bird research and conservation projects in South-East Asia, Madagascar and the Neotropics. Returning to academia, he developed a research programme in evolutionary ecology and conservation biology as a Lecturer at Oxford University, before taking up a Senior Lectureship at Imperial College London. His current research focuses on the evolution and conservation of avian diversity.