Dr Illiana Medina ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest: the amazing arms race between brood parasites and hosts.’

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Thursday, 16 February 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Avian brood parasites are birds that must lay their eggs in the nests of other species in order to reproduce. There are around 100 species of obligate brood parasites in the world and hundreds of hosts, hence, brood parasitism is a very ubiquitous interaction for birds. The coevolution between brood parasites and their hosts has led to the evolution of complex defences in hosts and many different tricks in brood parasites to parasitise their victims. In this talk I will explore these different types of defences and interactions in an evolutionary context, I will present the main findings of my PhD thesis and will show how important is brood parasitism for the evolution of birds.

Dr Iliana Medina is a postdoctoral researcher at the Australian National University. Iliana was born in Colombia and did her Bachelor of Science and Masters at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá. On 2012 she travelled to Australia to do her PhD on animal behaviour, her main interest is the evolution of different behaviours in the animal world. Specifically, she uses field experiments and phylogenetic analyses to understand behavioural interactions between avian brood parasites and their hosts.