Development and Evolution of Iridescent Colors in Feathers


photo: Chris Maynard

photo: Chris Maynard

I am a PhD candidate in the Integrated Bioscience program at the University of Akron, under the supervision of dr. Matthew Shawkey. Our lab studies how structural colors are produced in the animal integument, with a focus on bird feathers. I joined the Shawkey Lab in 2009, after finishing a Masters’ degree in Ecology under the supervision of dr. Regina Macedo, in the Animal Behavior lab at the Universidade de Brasília.

Iridescent colors of bird feathers are among the brightest, most dazzling and diverse visual signals found in animals. My PhD research investigates how the nanometer-level organization of color-producing structures in bird feathers takes place during feather development, and how this template can be explored to produce new colors and foster the diversification of sexually-selected phenotypes. For more information on my research, publications, software and contact, follow the links above!