We seek a highly motivated PhD student to evaluate methods for enhancing the fitness of critically endangered Regent Honeyeaters bred in captivity for release into the wild.
The project aims to:
- Understand the drivers of variation in song culture in both the captive and wild populations. - Assess the fitness consequences of male song in the captive and wild populations. - Undertake experiments to manipulate song culture in the captive population to more accurately reflect the wild song type. - Quantify the conservation benefits of manipulating captive song culture in terms of post-release breeding success.
The student will have access to a detailed historical database on previously released Regent Honeyeaters as well as opportunities to collect new data during forthcoming releases in 2020-2022. The project offers an excellent opportunity to undertake research that combines evolutionary biology and applied conservation via experiments and field monitoring.
The student will commence in 2020 and be supervised by:
Dr Ross Crates, Prof. Robert Heinsohn, Prof. Naomi Langmore (all ANU), Dr Joy Tripovich and Dr Ben Pitcher (both Taronga Conservation Society).