Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Kimball
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I got involved with research because I am interested in pursuing a career in ecology or zoology and do research in those fields. So I know that it was important to start as soon as I could as an undergrad. I wanted to develop skills to get a job after college and also learning about how the research process goes."
Exotic Animal Club
Hobbies and Interests
- Playing Sports
- Watching Animal Documentaries
Investigating Correlates of Sexual Dimorphism in the Galliformes
Variation in clutch size among birds has been greatly studied in the past and continues to intrigue ornithologists and the zoological society. This topic was the foundation for my project but evolved into a study on finding potential correlates of the variation of sex dimorphism found in the Galliformes, an Order of birds which includes turkey, chicken, grouse, pheasants, quail and more. Among the potential variables I also want to look at life history traits including clutch size, egg mass, female and male body mass, parental care, mating system, nesting location, duration of breeding season, incubation period, along with some environmental variables like elevation and latitude. I will be doing several analyses to identify which factors may influence or correlate with the variation in sexual dimorphism. Most importantly, I will be using the Galliform phylogeny in my statistical analyses in order to try to eliminate non independence among these closely related taxa and identify the strength of the phylogeny in governing variation in sexual dimorphism in this group of birds.