Scientific Research Project Title

Genomic causes and consequences of flight loss in birds

Research Institution

University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen

Research field

Ornithology, phylogenetics, biogeography

Research leader

Peter Andrew Hosner

Associate Professor & Curator of birds

Project title

Genomic causes and consequences of flight loss in birds

What is your project about?

The project will sequence a comprehensive set of genomes to understand how shared genetic mechanisms are involved in the convergent evolution of flight loss.

How did you become interested in your particular field of research?

I began birdwatching as a teenager which inspired me to become a biologist. Many of my research interests surround how flight and movement ability affect how birds diversify across landscapes. Extreme examples in nature often offer useful perspectives to study evolution, and flight loss is the most extreme reduction of movement ability in birds.

What are the scientific challenges and perspectives in your project?

Applying a diverse array of rapidly advancing techniques and methods to rare and valuable set of genetic materials--- including archived tissues, historic museum specimens, and bones of recently extinct species recovered from archeological/paleontological sites--- sourced from around the world.

What is your estimate of the impact, which your project may have to society in the long term?

The project will unveil the evolutionary history and conservation genetics of an assemblage of fascinating, charismatic and often endangered birds.

Which impact do you expect the Sapere Aude programme will have on your career as a researcher?

This program will establish my independent research group, which will apply the vast historical specimen collections at the Natural History Museum of Denmark to future questions in ecology and evolutionary biology.

Background and personal life

My partner and I moved to Denmark a few years ago to continue our careers as academic researchers studying the world's biodiversity. We enjoy travel to observe wildlife, and eating good food.

City of your current residence


High school

Holly High School (Michigan, USA)