20002020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Mating systems and parental behaviour

Family life is rife with conflicts. Not only the interests of parents and their offspring may be different, but the male and the female parents may also disagree how much care each should provide for their offspring.

My group investigates bird species to understand how conflict and cooperation influences family lives. We study birds in their natural populations, and build mathematical models to understand their behaviour. In plovers the sexual conflict is expressed when the chicks hatch: in some families the female, whereas in others the male, abandons the brood. We have discovered that the parents carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of this tug-of-war, and now we are investigating whether their behaviour has any genetic basis.

Penduline tits have one of the most exciting mating systems: both parents start looking for a new mate before they actually complete their clutch. What determines whether the male or the female cares for the chicks? How do parents solve their conflict? In this project we are aiming to understand some of the basic components of sexual conflict over mating & care.

Breeding systems in shorebirds

Shorebirds have exceptionally diverse breeding systems. Some shorebirds are polygamous, whether others are monogamous, or polyandrous. Why do shorebirds exhibit this unusual diversity? How did this diversity evolve? To answer these questions my group is using phylogenetic analyses.

Conservation of wetland birds

Many waterbird populations are declining. We carry out fieldwork in some of the most exciting places on the planet, and use phylogenetic methods to identify what makes a species decline. If you live in a country where endangered waterbirds live, we like to hear from you.

Collaborations

I have ongoing collaborations with several research institutions that include University of Groningen, Bristol University and Debrecen University.

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Projects

Research Output

Breeding ecology of the Cream-coloured Courser in Cape Verde

Rice, R., Valdebenito, J. O., Ottensmann, M., Engel, N., Adrião, A. & Székely, T., 2020, In : Ostrich. 91, 1, p. 65-73

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Climate and mating systems as drivers of global diversity of parental care in frogs

Vági, B., Végvári, Z., Liker, A., Freckleton, R. P. & Székely, T., 11 May 2020, In : Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Ecology and allometry predict the evolution of avian developmental durations

Cooney, C. R., Sheard, C., Clark, A. D., Healy, S. D., Liker, A., Street, S. E., Troisi, C. A., Thomas, G. H., Székely, T., Hemmings, N. & Wright, A. E., 14 May 2020, In : Nature Communications. 11, 1, 2383.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Population differentiation and historical demography of the threatened snowy plover Charadrius nivosus (Cassin, 1858)

D’Urban Jackson, J., Bruford, M. W., Székely, T., DaCosta, J. M., Sorenson, M. D., Russo, I. R. M., Maher, K. H., Cruz-López, M., Galindo-Espinosa, D., Palacios, E., De Sucre-Medrano, A. E., Cavitt, J., Pruner, R., Morales, A. L., Gonzalez, O., Burke, T. & Küpper, C., 28 Feb 2020, In : Conservation Genetics.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Sex differences in adult lifespan and aging rates of mortality across wild mammals

Lemaître, J. F., Ronget, V., Tidière, M., Allainé, D., Berger, V., Cohas, A., Colchero, F., Conde, D. A., Garratt, M., Liker, A., Marais, G. A. B., Scheuerlein, A., Székely, T. & Gaillard, J. M., 14 Apr 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 15, p. 8546-8553 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
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1 Citation (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Thesis

Breeding ecology and conservation of the Kentish Plover in Saudi Arabia

Author: Alrashidi, M., 1 May 2010

Supervisor: Szekely, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

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Breeding system evolution in relation to adult sex ratios

Author: Carmona Isunza, C., 1 Mar 2017

Supervisor: Szekely, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

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Breeding System Evolution of Malagasy Plovers: Natural Behaviours and Experiments

Author: Parra, J., 26 Jan 2015

Supervisor: Szekely, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

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Comparative transcriptome profiling in wild species: uncovering gene expression signatures of mating systems

Author: Ockendon, N., 2 Mar 2015

Supervisor: Urrutia, A. (Supervisor) & Szekely, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

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Conservation biology of the endangered St. Helena Plover Charadrius sanctaehelenae

Author: Burns, F., 1 Jun 2011

Supervisor: Szekely, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

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