December 11 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
The world of birds – from courtship displays to the impact of climate change, pesticides and aeroplanes – will be the centre of attention this week when a major ornithology conference lands at the University of East Anglia.
More than 350 bird experts from around the world will deliver more than 100 talks at the ninth Conference of the European Ornithologists’ Union in Norwich – the first time the event has been held in the UK.
Topics include the effects of forest management on woodpeckers, how kestrels are experiencing the cost of city living, the battle for airspace between birds and aircraft in an increasingly crowded sky, and how birds can be saved from colliding into windows by understanding how they see.
Speakers will also look at the impact of climate change on bird populations and migration patterns, and discuss how conservation projects may need to adapt as the world gets warmer.
Dr Jenny Gill, of the UEA’s School of Biological Sciences, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be hosting this international conference.
“A great deal of research at the UEA concerns the ecology and conservation of birds, and we are very pleased to be welcoming ornithologists from around the world to our university.”
The five-day event kicks off today with a keynote speech from Tim Birkhead on the history of ornithology since Darwin.
Other highlights include a lecture from bird behaviour specialist Leo Fusani, from the University of Ferrara in Italy, who will talk about the evolutionary and physiological mechanisms of elaborate courtship displays.
Dr Gill will look at the causes of changes in migratory bird populations and their implications for conservation.
Prof Tomasz Wesołowski, president of the European Ornithologists’ Union, said the UK public’s affection for birds made it a perfect place for the conference to be held.
“This is the first time that the EOU will meet in the UK, a country with top-class academic ornithology, very strong citizen involvement in science and enormous public interest in birds,” he said.
“This creates an ideal atmosphere for our delegates to discuss the latest achievements in ornithological science, and their application to mounting environmental problems.”
The conference starts today and runs until Saturday.
It is co-organised by the British Ornithologists’ Union, the British Trust for Ornithology, the RSPB, the Edward Grey Institute and UEA.
Visit www.norwich.eounion.org/ for further details