News In the Lab

July 2018

ATBC 2018 in Kuching

Several members represented our group at the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) conference that occurred in Kuching, Malaysia on the first week of July.

There were posters by our MSc students who just finished:

ZHOU Wenjing: “The relationship between the diversity of herbaceous plants and the extent and heterogeneity of croplands in non-crop vegetation in an agricultural landscape of South China

HE Ruchuan: “The effect of mimicry frequency on natural predation in a Batesian mimicry system

Two of our Ph.D. candidates presented their results from previous projects:

JIANG Demeng: “How information about predation in mixed-species flocks changes through the breeding cycle in a subtropical, limestone forest”

Salindra DAYANANDA: “The conservation value of small forest fragments within monoculture rubber plantations in Xishuangbanna, China”

A PhD student from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, ZHOU Liping, externally advised by Eben Goodale, also spoke on “Mixed-species bird flocks of south and southwest China”.

Previous postdoctoral fellow in the lab, Ari Martínez (not in picture), presented “Mixed-species flocking propensity and intraspecific sociality influence the colonization and extinction rates of bird species on islands”.

Eben GOODALE presented: “Multinational collaborations in ecology and environmental science within Asia: Current status and pathways forward.”

Poster of Ruchuan     Poster of Wenjin


June 2018

Ruchuan and Wenjing surrounded by the thesis evaluation committee.June 2018. Congratulations to our two Master students, HE Ruchuan and ZHOU Wenjing, who successfully defended their theses, about the diversity of herbaceous plants in agricultural landscapes of Nanning (Wenjing) and the effect of mimic frequencies on predation in a Batesian mimicry system (Ruchuan).

 We are excited to announce that Ph.D. student JIANG Demeng received the Chinese Government Scholarship to finance his upcoming project at the University of Florida, USA. He will study there the content of the call of nuclear species in mixed-species flocks, under the supervision of Prof. Kathryn E. Sieving from the Department of Wildlife and Conservation.

Additionally, our Associate Professor, JIANG Aiwu was interviewed by Jiangxi TV to introduce the current situation of Nonggang babbler. Another very recent reportage on this subject has been broadcasted by the GuangxiTV, with the contribution of our master student XIE Qiao (see links below).


XIE Qiao:

Picture caption: Ruchuan and Wenjing surrounded by the thesis evaluation committee.

Research on Sri Lanka Drongo & new article in the Journal of Avian Biology

Sanjaya Weerakkody with a DrongoWe are currently working in Sri Lanka with Dr. Sampath Seneviratne and his student Sanjaya Weerakkody (pictured) trying to understand how an endemic species, the Sri Lanka Drongo, is vocally different from other drongos, even though it has the capacity to mimic a huge variety of sounds.

We are also excited that a new article on the relationship between vocalizations and the roles of species in mixed-species flocks is out in the Journal of Avian Biology: .


Second International Birding Race in Longzhou

Second-International-Birding-Race-in-LongzhouMarch, 2018. Our three PhD students, Jiang Demeng, Salindra Dayananda and Estelle Meaux, participated to the Second International Birding Race in Longzhou, Guangxi Province, China. The competition took place in one of our main field sites for avian studies: the karst habitat of Nonggang National Nature Reserve. This national reserve is famous for the Nonggang Babbler, a species recently described by Zhou Fang and one of our associate professors, Jiang Aiwu, in 2008. As for the previous race, Jiang Aiwu actively participated this year in organizing and managing this 3-days competition.


Translocation experiment at Thousand Island Lake

In January, 2018 we did some exploratory fieldwork in Thousand Island Lake, Zhejiang Province, one of Chinese’s premier studies of habitat fragmentation. Eben Goodale, Demeng Jiang, Salindra Dayananda and Estelle Meaux tested successfully whether the Grey-cheeked Fulvetta (shown here with a radiotransmitter on its back), the leading species of mixed-species flocks in the area, could be moved to a new island. In the future, we hope this system could be used to measure how important leading species are to other flock participants.


Dec 15, 2017.  Congrats to our two 2016 MSc students who successfully defended their proposals.  HE Chao presented “Levels of heavy metals in a zinc and lead mining region of southern China: levels of target and nontarget metals (mercury and cadmium) across trophic levels”, and XIE Qiao presented “The effect of noise on bird nestlings’ vocal behaviors and predation risk”.