Incubation and embryo development
Incubating birds must provide a thermal environment for the eggs that ensures successful development of the embryos, while minimizing energy expenditure and nest predation. The strategies by which these factors are traded-off against each other may affect the length of the incubation period and nestling phenotype. Developing embryos may experience highly variable temperatures that can affect development rates but may also have long term effects on size and physiology of adults. The goals of the project is to disentangle environmental and maternal effects on embryo development (including interactions with non-thermal effects, such as deposition of maternal hormones and antibodies in the yolk) and to investigate embryo thermal tolerances in the wild.