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World seabird conference: Evolutionary physiology

David Gremillet, September 1, 2014

Dear colleagues,

We are in the process of compiling the list of persons interested in joining this symposium at the forthcoming WSCII in Oct 2015 in Cape Town (

See description below

Please get back to us with your preliminary titles before the 25 Sept 2014 (this year!).

Selected talks will be considered as invited talks.

Kind regards


Title: ‘Evolutionary Physiology’ Conveners: David Grémillet, CEFE-CNRS, Montpellier, France Email.; Kyle Elliott, University of Manitoba, Canada. Email. .

There is a renewed interest for seabird physiology, as a mechanistic tool for testing and forecasting seabird responses to environmental change. In this context, seabird studies in ecophysiology are greatly facilitated by rapid developments in biotelemetry technologies, of new laboratory procedures, and of mechanistic models. Seabird evolutionary physiology therefore emerges as a highly exciting research field, which investigates the adaptation of physiological traits, and the potential of these traits as indicators of Darwinian fitness. Our session is meant to promote recent, innovative work exploring the links between seabird physiology and evolutionary ecology. For instance, we will ask whether metabolism, hormone levels, or other physiological indices can be used as fitness proxies either directly or via their impact on behaviour. Further, it is essential to assess the heritability of physiological traits, and the plasticity of such traits under the influence of environmental change. Ultimately, understanding evolutionary physiology will determine our capacity to design mechanistic models forecasting the ecophysiological responses, the distribution and population dynamics of seabirds facing global change.

Time requested: Quarter-day Potential contributors: Keynote speakers (confirmed): (1) Craig R. White (Univ Queensland, Australia), is aiming at understanding the causes and consequences of large-scale variation in the physiology of animals. He will provide us with a broad overview on evolutionary physiology, and its applications to seabird research. (2) Kyle Elliott (Univ. Manitoba, Canada), is at the forefront of conducting research on the evolutionary physiology of seabirds in the wild. Title: “Preserved in salt: Patterns of aging in two long-lived seabirds differ from short-lived birds”.