Advisor: Richard Prum
My research is focused on describing the underlying developmental basis of morphological diversity in feathers. Feathers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes that birds use to accomplish a variety of functions, including flight, communication, and courtship displays. I am using a combination of empirical experiments, and theoretic modeling to discover how feather development is modified to produce different shapes. Recently, I have been focusing on describing in detail the development and morphological changes that produce asymmetry in flight feathers of two species of birds.
Now I am interested in expanding on this work and conducting a survey of flight feather diversity across birds. As a part of this project I would need to take high resolution scans of feathers in order to measure various morphological features. I will accomplish this work, in part, by using the Epson 700 scanner in YCEO Lab to scan feathers.