Project properties

Title Effects of flight and other physiological challenges on immune function in birds.
Group Wildlife Ecology and Conservation group
Project type thesis
Credits >30
Supervisor(s) Kevin Matson
Henk Parmentier
Examiner(s) F. van Langevelde
Contact info
Begin date 2017/02/01
End date 2022/12/31
Description Racing (or homing) pigeons are a sort of animal athletes. We know in humans exercise can affect immune defense and possibly susceptibility to disease. Interest in connections between exercise/movement and disease ecology of animals is growing. Some features of the immune system of raced pigeons have been investigated, but many questions still remain. For example, does exercise (and other inflammatory challenges) affect profiles of natural antibodies (NAbs) and natural auto-antibodies (N(A)ABs)? This project will focus on this question using pre-collected plasma samples.

[bird] [animal] [birds] [animals] [pigeon] [pigeons] [disease ecology] [immunology] [ecoimmunology] [physiology] [ecophysiology] [autoimmunity] [senescence] [life history] [antibodies] [western blot] [desktop study] [miscellaneous] [The Netherlands]
Used skills Basic lab techniques (pipetting), more advanced lab techniques (can be learned during project, e.g., running western blots), desk-top study, analysing data using R, Canoco, etc.
Requirements Basic and/or advanced statistics (e.g., minimum Ecological Methods 1); familiarity with and interest in laboratory techniques, possible travel to University of Groningen for some lab work.