Project properties

Title Integrating avian life history, physiology and immune function: are natural antibodies at the nexus of phylogeny, life history, and disease reservoir competence?
Group Wildlife Ecology and Conservation group
Project type thesis
Credits 18-36
Supervisor(s) Kevin Matson
Examiner(s) Prof.dr.ir. F. van Langevelde
Contact info kevin.matson@wur.nl; http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Persons/Kevin-KD-Kevin-Matson-PhD.htm
Begin date 2015/04/01
End date 2022/12/31
Description Complex relationships exist between phylogeny, life history, disease reservoir competence, and immune function. One component of the immune system that might serve as a nexus linking the other factors is "natural antibodies" (or NAb). NAb are constitutively produced, non-specific antibodies that circulate in a wide variety of vertebrates. A standard protocol has been used widely to quantify NAb titers. As a result comparable mean values for many species of birds and other animals can be extracted from the existing scientific literature. Initial studies suggest variation among species and higher taxonomic levels and identify correlations with some life history variables (e.g., development time). To gain a deeper understanding of these results and the general relationship summarized above, we seek students who are interested in carrying out desk-top studies. Such studies will involve collection of literature, extraction of published data, and meta-analysis and evidence synthesis. These projects/theses can be carried out during any period(s).

[bird] [animal] [birds] [animals] [disease] [disease ecology] [immunology] [ecoimmunology] [physiology] [ecophysiology] [antibodies] [life history] [reservior competence] [phylogeny] [desktop study] [miscellaneous] [The Netherlands]
Used skills Desk-top study, analysing data using R, Canoco, etc.
Requirements Basic and/or advanced statistics (e.g., minimum Ecological Methods 1)