Dr Claire Spottiswoode

I'm interested in studying evolution in the wild, and work mainly on African birds. I try to integrate field experiments with other approaches such as population genetics, sensory ecology, and comparative analyses across species. My current research focus is on coevolutionary arms races between brood parasitic birds (such as cuckoos, honeyguides and parasitic finches) and the host species they exploit to bear the costs of raising their young. I'm also more widely interested in the reproductive ecology of birds, and have also worked on life history evolution, sexual selection, bird migration, and now camouflage thanks to the current project with Martin, Jolyon and Jared. Most of my research happens in southern Zambia where I've worked with a fantastic team of local field assistants since 2006, and where much of this project's fieldwork on breeding nightjars, plovers and coursers is now being carried out.

Please see www.africancuckoos.com for more information about my work and that of my students and other colleagues working in Zambia.