The following description was submitted by the event organizer.
Most of us humans can retreat to the safety of a building or a well-stocked pantry to wait out storms, smoke, or heat waves…but what do all the birds do? Do they also seek shelter? Do they leave? How long can they wait before they must go to find food? Such decisions can literally mean life or death.
Some amazing adaptations help them decide what to do. For example, information from nearby neighbors can change their brains and how they process stress…and can even affect how large their intestines are. These strategies help them to cope with times of unpredictable food and highlight how important social interactions are for birds.
Dr. Jamie Cornelius and her lab study behavioral and physiological strategies that birds use to cope with unpredictable change. In other words, why do some birds survive better than others when the going gets tough? She’ll describe field and lab experiments that help us understand their needs and what strategies might help them to cope with global change. While many talks centered on climate change can fill you with doom and gloom, this one just might give you reason to hope that mother nature has some tricks up her sleeve.