I am an ecology PhD student with interests in animal behaviour and conservation biology. I completed my BSc at Massey University in Palmerston North. I then completed my MSc in conservation biology at Massey University in Albany with Dianne Brunton as my supervisor. My project focused on resource partitioning between the hihi (Notiomystis cincta) and New Zealand bellbird (Anthornis melanura). During this research I became familiar with the song of bellbirds and fascinated by the complexity and differences in song between males and females. This led me to taking on my PhD project with Dianne.

My PhD project is on the song ontogeny of the New Zealand bellbird. Previous studies on song learning and development have been biased towards species where only males sing and are typically laboratory based. This has resulted in a skew in what we know about song ontogeny. There are many species where both sexes sing. The NZ bellbird is a prime example, as both sexes sing a wide range of different song types.

The aim of my project is to look at how song is learnt and develops for both sexes to ultimately answer the question of whether song ontogeny is equivalent for male and female NZ bellbirds.

 

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