Personality, Plumage Coloration & Maternal Effects
The focus of my post doctoral research was to understand the evolutionary significance of personalities in eastern bluebirds. Differences in personalities similar to those familiar in humans (i.e. assertive, friendly, or aggressive) have been documented in wild animals including two species that I study: Eastern bluebirds and Tree swallows. I have found that personality is linked to ornamental plumage coloration in bluebirds. In these species, I am studying whether personality affects mate-choice decisions, female promiscuity, and competition for breeding resources between individuals of the same sex. I am also interested in how personality influences maternal effects. Using tree swallows, my graduate student, Alex Bentz is currently researching whether aggressive females deposit more androgens in egg yolks and the short term and long term effects of yolk androgens on offspring fitness.
Lynn Siefferman, Ph.D.
572 Rivers St
Appalachian State University
Boone, NC 28608