Angela Parody Merino

Doctor of Philosophy, (Zoology)
Study Completed: 2018
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Genetics of the timing of migration in bar-tailed godwits

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Despite a large proportion of the world's bird species being migratory, the control of migration timing is poorly understood. The bar-tailed godwits that breed in Alaska and 'winter' in the New Zealand summer are known to have highly consistent individual migration timetables, and provide an ideal study system to investigate genetic factors determining migration timing. Ms Parody Merino used genomic approaches and integrated behavioural data to test whether genes related to the 'internal clock' are associated with individuals' migratory departure time. Results indicate that a large number of genes contribute to the timing, rather than a few key genes having large effects. Her research contributes to the understanding of the nature of behaviours in natural populations, specifically in the area of chronobiology.

Associate Professor Phil Battley
Dr Andrew Fidler
Professor Murray Potter