Seasonal Reproduction in Birds: From Seeing the Light to Weathering the Sto...

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The Roslin Auditorium

The Roslin Institute

Easter Bush

Edinburgh

EH25 9RG

United Kingdom

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Inaugural lecture of Professor Simone Meddle

Personal Chair of Behavioural Neuroendocrinology

Professor Simone Meddle will discuss research showing how the environment regulates the reproductive system in birds, and why this is important in respect to our changing world.

Seasonal Reproduction in Birds: From Seeing the Light to Weathering the Storm

For most bird species reproduction is seasonal and breeding is regulated by environmental cues e.g. changes in day length, food availability, temperature, social interactions and inclement weather. Professor Meddle’s research interests lie in understanding how these environmental factors coordinate the both the timing and the progression of seasonal reproduction.

The change in day length is one key environmental factor used by birds to determine the time of year to breed. Birds use photoreceptors and a circadian clock located deep within their brains to interpret the light:dark signal. In her inaugural lecture, Professor Meddle will describe some recent findings relating to the molecular mechanisms of photoperiodic internal timing that are critical for avian reproduction.

Brain and hormone adaptations underlie the unique behaviour required to maximize survival and reproductive success in migratory Arctic-breeding birds. These species rapidly modulate their response to stress and adapt their behaviour to optimise reproductive success in a very short breeding season on the tundra which is often fraught with inclement weather events. Professor Meddle will explain using such wonderful examples of environmental adaptations how we are entering an exciting era in avian research. Using the annotation of many more avian species genomes to devise comparative genomic approaches and species-specific genetic tools, the identification of the genes responsible for integrating environmental information, neuroendocrine signals and reproductive behaviour is now within reach. This research is timely given the recent increased frequency of extreme weather events caused by climate change.

This lecture will be followed by a reception in the area outside of the auditorium.

This lecture is free and open to all.

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Date and Time

Location

The Roslin Auditorium

The Roslin Institute

Easter Bush

Edinburgh

EH25 9RG

United Kingdom

View Map

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