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Monica C. Silva

I came all the way from home (Portugal) to Seattle to work with seabird population genetics, my approach being twofold. On the one hand, I am interested in studying how evolutionary forces like migration and different population parameters may affect genetic variability within and between populations. On the other hand, I am also interested in looking at life history parameters and how they may as well affect the genetic variability of a species, through natural selection. To look at these questions, I am working with a particular group of highly specialized seabirds - the petrels (also known as tubenoses). This group, that includes albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, storm- and diving-petrels, exhibits extreme demographic characteristics; it has low reproductives rates (single egg clutch) coupled with high life expectancy (even the small storm-petrels may live up to 36 years). Also, many species show a strong philopatry to breeding localities and nest sites, and populations often exhibit geographic variation in morphological and behavioural traits.I am presently working in two projects: one on Black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes) and another one on Thin-billed Prions (Pachyptila belcheri). My work with the petrels has allowed me to visit and work in spectacular places the last of which was New Island (Falkland Islands) in the Sub-Antarctic, where I did field work for approximately 3 months.

Education:

B.S. in Zoology, 1996, Universidade de Lisboa

Publications:

Silva, M.C. & Granadeiro, J.P. 1999. Genetic variability and isolation of
Cory's Shearwater colonies in the Northeast Atlantic. Condor 101:174-179.

Granadeiro, J.P., Nunes, M., Silva, M.C. & Furness, R.W. Flexible foraging
strategy of Cory's Shearwater, Calonectris diomedea, during the

chick-rearing period. Animal Behaviour 56: 1169-1176.

 
 

 

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