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Nature Night: Birdsong and Birdbrains - Fall Changes

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When: Nov 13, 2012 from 07:00 pm to 08:30 pm

After a brilliant presentation in May, neuroscientist Dr. Claudio Mello returns to Nature Night on November 13 with more insight on bird song and bird brains and the lessons we can learn and apply to human brain function.

Western Meadowlark - Jim Cruce
Western Meadowlark - Jim Cruce

This event is part of Portland Audubon's monthly Nature Night lecture series. Each lecture is free and open to the public, so grab a seat and get ready to learn more about the natural world.

Birdsong and Birdbrains - Fall Changes, with Claudio Mello

Fall migration is well under way, and birdsong has changed dramatically since the clamorous breeding and baby bird season this summer. Birds are among the very few animals that are capable of learning to vocalize, and those baby birds have had to learn their species’ songs as well as learn how to fend for themselves. Fall is the season when birds are getting quieter. Both the songs and the birds’ brains are changing as the birds either prepare for migration to warmer climes, or for facing the hardships of the coming winter.

After a brilliant presentation in May, neuroscientist Dr. Claudio Mello returns to Nature Night on November 13 with more insight on bird song and bird brains and the lessons we can learn and apply to human brain function. He will discuss how birdbrains change in the fall, and how these seasonal differences can help us understand brain plasticity. To some extent, that seasonal plasticity also affects our brains, and we can certainly learn from studying the birds. Dr. Mello will augment his presentation with audio recordings of birdsong, and photos and video of songbird behavior.

A neuroscientist and animal behaviorist, Dr. Mello has been associated with OHSU since 2001, first as a member of the Neurological Sciences Institute and currently as an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and a participant in the OHSU Brain Institute. He received an MD from the University of Brasilia, in Brazil, and a PhD in neuroethology and molecular neuroscience from the Rockefeller University in New York City. Since 2010, Dr. Mello has coordinated a collaborative consortium to study avian biodiversity in the tropics, with focus on species that developed vocal learning. Dr. Mello has published many studies on the singing behavior and brain organization of songbirds, parrots, parakeets and hummingbirds; and is currently involved in sequencing the first genome of a parrot and mapping the brain regulation of genes that are important for song.

Please join our flock for this presentation!

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