Exploring feather chemical compounds and their defensive properties of Papua New Guinean birds

Målgruppe:Biochemistry, Biology
Niveau:Masters, Bachelor

Birds use many mechanisms to keep the feather integrity and health. Other than active preening they can utilize secretions from the uropygial gland (preening gland) to treat their feathers. However, our knowledge on the chemical compounds of the feathers and potential of these feather chemicals to act against both ecto-parasites and micro parasites are understudied. Therefore, we would like to investigate the feather chemical compounds in multiple bird species from Papua New Guinea and compare the parasite loads (ecto parasites and malaria) on individuals to better understand if feather chemical compounds play defensive roles against pathogens.

Anvendte metoder:We already have feather samples and some data on ecto parasites. The project will mainly focus on measuring chemical compounds through running HRMS/MS and identify potential defensive compounds. Followed by looking bird malaria infections to see whether there are candidate compounds that might act as vector (mosquito) repalents. We are also open to any other ideas!
Keywords:Feather chemistry, Bird microbiomes, Defence, Parasitism
Projekthjemmeside: http://www.socialsymbioticevolution.com
Vejleder(e): Michael Poulsen and Kasun Bodawatta