Genetic characterization of the chickadee hybrid zone in Northern Indiana

Tuesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m. Manchester University Student Union, Hoff Room

Presented by Ben Cloud

Ben Cloud researched chickadee hybridization with Professor of Biology, Dr. Short, in 2012. His goal was to determine the boundaries of the hybrid zone between Black-capped chickadees and Carolina chickadees. Using microsatellite markers, he determined the extent of hybridization in four chickadee populations spread over a 70 km north-south transect in Northern Indiana. He compared his genetic data with morphological data collected 30 years ago, and found that the chickadee hybrid zone has widened and shifted northward in the last 30 years. Future studies will aim to monitor the hybrid zone and possibly identify mechanisms for its shift. Ben will present this research and its implications at this program.

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