Date(s) - Tuesday, March 23, 2021
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Noah Burg presents two research projects focused on birds found in the African savanna. In his talk, Noah will discuss the research he’s conducted and present photographs from his field work, highlighting some of the amazing wildlife found at the study locations.
For the first project, the focus is on using molecular genetic tools to trace the history of an introduced obligate interspecific brood parasitic finch, the Pin-tailed Whydah (Vidua macroura), from sub-Saharan Africa to the Caribbean and southern California. The Pin-tailed Whydah and other birds from its genus do not build nests. Instead, similar to the Brown-headed Cowbird, they deposit their eggs in the nests of unsuspecting host species and trick the host into incubating and rearing the whydah’s young.
The second project looks at weaverbirds (Ploceidae) in Ethiopia. Weavers are known for building elaborate nest structures, and the semi-arid savannas of the Rift Valley in Ethiopia are home to some of the highest diversity of weaverbirds anywhere on the continent. Noah will present preliminary findings from a study of weaverbird nest-site placement in Awash National Park.
Noah received his PhD in biology from the City University of New York and conducted his laboratory work at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City. Originally from the east coast, Noah worked for almost two decades in the AMNH Education Department, where he was involved in youth programming and internships focused on increasing access and participation in science research, for populations of students from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Noah has relocated to Southern Oregon, where he’s taught at Rogue Community College and Southern Oregon University and volunteered at the US Fish & Wildlife National Forensics Lab. He’s an Affiliate Assistant Professor in SOU’s Environmental Science and Policy Program.
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