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Keith Larsson

I completed my undergraduate studies at The Evergreen State College in wildlife biology in 2000 where I further developed my passion for everything natural history and Darwin.

Over the past decade I have followed migrating birds from the boreal and temperate forests to the tropics, formulating questions of how and why a bird can endure such long distance migrations. During these migrations, north to south and then back, constantly in the company of birds, I wondered what selective pressures shape migrant life histories. How do environmental gradients and density dependent factors modify and maintain migratory behavior? Do events on the breeding or wintering grounds affect future reproductive success and survivorship? How do behaviour, demographics, and population dynamics interact to maintain these populations?I have also spent many years studying population dynamics in albatross populations in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, foraging ecology of seabirds, and the wintering ecology of Nearctic-Neotropical seabird migrants.

I am currently a PhD student with Susanne Åkesson and co-supervised by Staffan Bensch starting my studies April 2008. My thesis studies involve trying to understand what factors maintain the narrow secondary contact zone for two subspecies of willow warblers (Phylloscopus trochilus) in central Sweden. My research is focused on whether hybridization occurs between these two subspecies, are there pre-zygotic mechanisms that limit hybridization (e.g. assortative mating) or post-zygotic factors that limit hybrid recruitment and survivorship (e.g. migration orientation)? In addition, I use stable isotope techniques to establish connectivity between the breeding and wintering grounds for each subspecies and conduct orientation experiments to determine if there are different directional preferences between the two subspecies.

Keith Larsson

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Keith Larsson

Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden