March 21, 2024    
7:15 pm - 9:30 pm


Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia

Event Type

The meeting will be held at the Academy of Natural Sciences, BEES classroom (3rd floor) and online.

Meeting agenda:
7:15 PM:  Zoom opens
7:30-8 PM: Club business
8 PM:  Presentation followed by questions (might start earlier if club business finishes earlier).

Please register for the meeting whether you will be attending in person or via Zoom. Then watch for the meeting link in your email. Disregard the meeting link if you will be attending in person.

Register here via Zoom

The dramatic evolution of birds on Madagascar

A bird with a black head, blue bill, rufous upper back, black lower back and rufous tail

Helmeted Vanga by Josh Engel

Speaker: Dr. Sushma Reddy (remote)

Dr. Sushma Reddy surrounded by collections of bird skins and holding a Baltimore Oriole skinIslands are natural laboratories to study how species evolve in novel environments. Colonization of new biogeographic realms can expose lineages to ecological opportunities and unique selective regimes, which sometimes leads to spectacular radiations. In Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot with an exceptional diversity of endemics, several lineages of birds have undergone this experiment with varying results. Of the 50+ lineages that have colonized the island, only half have subsequently diversified within the island. I use Madagascar as a model system to study comparable endemic birds on a single landmass and investigate the influence of timing, space, and phylogeny on diversification patterns.

Dr. Sushma Reddy is the Breckenridge Chair of Ornithology at the Bell Museum of Natural History and Associate Professor in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. Her research investigates biological diversity by using genetic, phenotypic, and geographic data to study the evolutionary history of birds.

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