I was admitted as a PhD student in May 2010 with Staffan Bensch as my supervisor and Susanne Åkesson as my co-supervisor. My research focuses on hybrid zones between two subspecies of the willow warbler Phylloscopus trochilus in Northern Europe. Data provided from ringing recoveries and stable isotopes suggest that the subspecies have distinctly different migratory programs. While southern birds (ssp. trochilus) migrate to wintering areas in Western Africa, northern birds (ssp. acredula) head for wintering areas in Southern Africa. The hybrid zones are presumed to be maintained by selection against hybrids with an intermediate migratory program.
During my PhD, I will develop genetic markers that can be used to map and quantify hybridization within the areas of contact. A long term goal is to characterize the genes associated with the different migratory programs of the two subspecies. The project will be in collaboration with Mats Grahn and Anthony Wright at Södertörn University, Stockholm
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