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Breeding system evolution in shorebirds

   Department of Life Sciences

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  Prof Tamas Szekely  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Shorebirds (plovers, sandpipers and allies) exhibit high diversity of mating systems and parenting. My reserarch group investigates the ecolutionary causes and conservational implications of this diversity. Our team uses cutting edge approaches in behaviour, ecology and evolution, and we adop vaiety of techniques in spatial analyses, phylogenetic methods and genetics/genomics. We carry out research in dozens of locations worldwide including Arctic and tropics, and we are collaborating with an international network of scientists and students.

We seek motivated and bright students interested in behaviour and evolution. The project provides excellent training opportunities in field biology, ecology and phylogenetic analyses. We are especially keen on talking to students with good quantitative skills (including modelling and statistics) and keen birdwatchers.

The student will be based at Milner Centre for Evolution at University of Bath - an internationally leading institute of evolutionary science.

For further informnation please check the following websites:

Funding Notes

Interested students should contact me about funding options.


Our team published in leading international journals. Selected publications:
Amano, T., T. Székely, B. Sandel, Sz. Nagy, T. Mundkur, T. Langendoen, D. Blanco, C. U. Soykan, W. J. Sutherland. 2018. Successful conservation of global waterbird populations depends on effective governance. Nature 553: 199-202.
Eberhart-Phillips, L. J, C Küpper, T. E. X. Miller, M. Cruz-López, K. H. Maher, N. dos Remedios, M. A. Stoffel, J. I. Hoffman, O. Krüger & T. Székely. 2017. Adult sex ratio bias in snowy plovers is driven by sex-specific early survival: implications for mating systems and population growth. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences US 114: E5474-E5481
Kubelka, V., M. Šálek, P. Tomkovich, Zs. Végvári, R. Freckleton & T. Székely. 2018. Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds. Science 362: 680-683
Székely, T. 2019. Why study plovers? The significance of non-model organisms in avian ecology, behaviour and evolution. Journal of Ornithology 160: 923-933.
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