Brassy-breasted Tanager

In the Eye of the Beholder: Evolution of Feather Color in the Tanagers

Allison Shultz, Ph.D.

Tue, Jun 08, 2021 7:00 PM

Photo of Allison Shultz

Plumage coloration is an ideal system for studying how natural and sexual selection shape trait evolution. Allison’s research has focused on the evolution of tanager plumage coloration from the avian visual perspective, by comparing how plumage evolution evolves differently in males and females, how light environment has shaped the evolution of plumage coloration, and how competition has affected trait diversification. Her work explores the evolution of plumage patterning — that is, incorporating the spatial location of a color on a bird’s body and how the underlying coloration mechanisms (pigments, feather nano- and microstructure) evolve to produce the observed plumage coloration.

Join Allison as she presents on the evolution of feather color in the largest family of birds, the Thraupidae — the Tanagers. It’s sure to be a colorful presentation!

Here is a video of the talk: