Fast-paced environmental changes currently threaten bird populations. To predict how birds will respond to these changes it will be essential to acquire new knowledge about environmental influences on individual reproductive decisions (e.g., whether, where, and when to reproduce) and how organisms respond to their environments as physiological and behavioural systems. While some species are flexible with respect to laying date, clutch size, mating system, etc., others are less flexible. If scientists are to predict which populations will be able to adjust or adapt and how rapidly, they will require far greater knowledge of the mechanisms underlying reproductive decisions than they currently possess.
Obtaining that knowledge will require the expertise of reproductive endocrinologists, physiological ecologists, behavioral ecologists, comparative biologists, population biologists, and quantitative geneticists (or, more simply, endocrinologists and ecologists).
This award will support an exploratory workshop that will convene ~30 European and North American scientists. The workshop will foster the exchange of knowledge, techniques, and data between endocrinologists and ecologists to address this pressing and topical issue. It will lead in turn to the formation of a research network that will foster international collaborations and opportunities for international training of graduate and postdoctoral students including students from groups underrepresented in science and developing countries.