Sydney Hope

The consequence of environmental change during early life

I study how subtle changes to the environment in which animals develop can have significant and long-term consequences for their morphology, physiology, behavior, and survival. In birds, one of the most important aspects of development is incubation. Parents must keep eggs within a narrow range of temperatures to ensure proper embryo development. However, human-induced environmental changes can affect how well avian parents can incubate their eggs. For example, the changing climate can directly affect egg temperatures, and human disturbances at nests can decrease the amount of time that parents spend incubating. Currently, I am investigating whether changes in the temperature at which zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) eggs are incubated affect offspring morphology and physiology shortly after hatching, as well as their cognitive abilities and reproductive performance as adults. This research will shed light on how small changes during early-life can potentially have long-term and even multi-generational consequences. Post-doctorante – Equipe ECOPHY sydney.hope(at) tel +33 (0)5 49 09 78 13