Unraveling the mechanisms of the adaptive response of phenotypic traits to novel or changing environments presents an exciting opportunity to gain insight on how ecological processes and the environment can shape the phenotype.
One of the major challenges to a better understanding of the molecular basis of migration in birds is to accurately characterize migratory behavior in the wild.
During migration there is considerable inter-individual or species-specific variation regarding flight distances, travel direction and the frequency, timing and duration of refueling.
Our objectives are to combine radio-tracking and gene expression profiles to predict the adaptive capacity of wild migratory birds.
Incorporating the massive transcriptome sequencing data produced so far, will help us to select specific target genes associated with bird physiology and behaviour in order to quantify gene expression levels at specific migration stages that will be pinpointed by the latest radio-tracking technology.