Mélanie F. Guigueno

Mélanie F. Guigueno
McGill University | McGill · Department of Biology

BSc(Honours), MSc, PhD

About

40
Publications
7,152
Reads
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753
Citations
Introduction
Mélanie F. Guigueno currently works in the Department of Biology, McGill University. Mélanie does research in behavioural ecology, neuroecology, and ecotoxicology.
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - April 2016
McGill University
Position
  • Researcher
September 2015 - April 2016
McGill University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
January 2011 - April 2015
The University of Western Ontario
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • My doctoral research focuses on sex and seasonal differences in cognition and the brain of the brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbird

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
Parental care can be costly to parents’ fitness. As such, abandonment of the current reproductive attempt may benefit potential future opportunities, maximising lifetime reproductive success. Obligate brood parasitism, a reproductive strategy in which parasites lay their eggs in the nests of other species and rely solely on them to raise the parasi...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the relationships between cognitive abilities and fitness is integral to an evolutionary study of brain and behavior. However, these relationships are often difficult to measure and detect. Here we draw upon an opportunistic sample of brown-headed cowbird ( Molothrus ater ) subjects that had two separate research experiences: First, t...
Article
Full-text available
Sympatric species must sufficiently differentiate aspects of their ecological niche to alleviate complete interspecific competition and stably coexist within the same area. Seabirds provide a unique opportunity to understand patterns of niche segregation among coexisting species because they form large multi-species colonies of breeding aggregation...
Article
Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) is an organophosphate ester (OPE) used as a flame retardant (FR) and plasticizer. TPHP has previously been shown to disrupt behaviour in fish and mammals, but to our knowledge, this is the first study on the behavioural effects of TPHP in birds. Early life stage Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) were exposed to nominal d...
Article
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) contaminate pristine, alpine environments through long-range transport in the atmosphere and glacier trapping. To study variation in POPs levels in western Canada, we measured levels in the prey (fish) of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) during 1999-2004, and compared those to levels in eggs and chicks. Values in fish...
Article
The toxicokinetics of triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) in vivo including the uptake, deposition and biotransformation into the metabolite diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) is presently reported in embryonated eggs and chicks of Japanese quail. Quail were dosed with TPHP at three concentrations by air cell egg‐injection on embryonic day zero followed by daily ora...
Article
Flight costs play an important role in determining the behavior, ecology, and physiology of birds and bats. Mechanical flight costs can be estimated from aerodynamics. However, measured metabolic flight costs (oxygen consumption rate) are less accurately predicted by flight theory, either because of (1) variation in flight efficiency across species...
Article
Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP; CAS # 115-86-6), a commonly used plasticizer and flame retardant, has been reported in wild birds and identified as a potential high-risk chemical. We exposed Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) by in ovo injection, and once hatched, orally each day for 5 days to safflower oil (controls) or TPHP dissolved in vehicle at low...
Article
Bis (2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromophthalate (BEH-TEBP) and 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EH-TBB), flame retardant (FR) components of FireMaster 550® and 600®, have been detected in tissues of wild birds. To address the paucity of information regarding potential impacts of FRs on the brain, brain volume regions of hatchling American ke...
Article
The brain and underlying cognition may vary adaptively according to an organism's ecology. As with all raptor species, adult American kestrels (Falco sparverius) are sexually dimorphic with females being larger than males. Related to this sexual dimorphism, kestrels display sex differences in hunting and migration, with females ranging more widely...
Article
Cowbirds are brood parasites. Females lay their eggs in the nests of other species which then incubate the cowbird eggs and raise the young cowbirds. Finding and returning to heterospecific nests presents cowbirds with a number of cognitive challenges. In some species, such as brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater), females but not males, search fo...
Article
Full-text available
Birds possess a hippocampus that serves many of the same spatial and mnemonic functions as the mammalian hippo- campus but achieves these outcomes with a dramatically different neuroanatomical organization. The properties of spatially responsive neurons in birds and mammals are also different. Much of the contemporary interest in the role of the ma...
Article
Full-text available
Flame retardants (FRs) are a diverse group of chemicals, many of which persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in biota. Although some FRs have been withdrawn from manufacturing and commerce (e.g., legacy FRs), many continue to be detected in the environment; moreover, their replacements and/or other novel FRs are also detected in biota. Here,...
Article
Methylmercury (MeHg) readily crosses the blood brain barrier and is a known neuro-toxicant. MeHg accumulation in the brain causes histopathological alterations, neurobehavioral changes, and impairments to cognitive motor functions in mammalian models. However, in birds the neurotoxic effects of MeHg on the developing pre-hatching brain and conseque...
Chapter
Nest sanitation or nest cleaning behaviour in Passeriformes has been widely reported in the literature. It was proposed that this behaviour is a preadaptation for the evolution of egg rejection behaviour in hosts of avian brood parasites, which are primarily passerines. Indeed, the same motor skills underlie nest sanitation and egg rejection behavi...
Chapter
Natural selection can modify cognition and its neural mechanisms if these modifications enhance fitness. Brood parasites are ideal subjects to study sex-specific adaptations in cognition and the brain because it is often females that search for potential host nests, and some species as a result show a reversal of sex-typical space use usually seen...
Article
Cover: The cover image, by Mélanie F. Guigueno et al., is based on the Research Article Sex and seasonal differences in neurogenesis and volume of the song-control system are associated with song in brood-parasitic and non-brood-parasitic icterid songbirds, DOI: 10.1002/dneu.22385.
Article
Full-text available
In mammals, episodic memory and spatial cognition involve context-specific recruitment of unique ensembles in the hippocampal formation (HF). Despite their capacity for sophisticated spatial (e.g., for migration) and episodic-like (e.g., for food-caching) memory, the mechanisms underlying contextual representation in birds is not well understood. H...
Article
Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are one of few species in which females show more complex space use than males. Female cowbirds search for, revisit, and parasitize host nests and outperformed males on an open field spatial search task. Previous research reported a female-biased sex difference in the volume of the hippocampus, a region of the...
Article
The song-control system in the brain of songbirds is important for the production and acquisition of song and exhibits both remarkable seasonal plasticity and some of the largest neural sex differences observed in vertebrates. We measured sex and seasonal differences in two nuclei of the song-control system of brood-parasitic brown-headed cowbirds...
Article
Full-text available
Responses of fosterers to parasitism by the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus), recorded experimentally by Antoine Joseph Lottinger in eastern France between 1772 and 1775, were published in a book in 1775. Typographical errors in the text indicate that all extant copies of the book constitute a single impression from standing type, yet three separate...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial cognition in females and males can differ in species in which there are sex-specific patterns in the use of space. Brown-headed cowbirds are brood parasites that show a reversal of sex-typical space use often seen in mammals. Female cowbirds, search for, revisit and parasitize hosts nests, have a larger hippocampus than males and have bette...
Article
Full-text available
The evolution of egg mimicry by parasites and the recognition of foreign eggs by hosts are important components of the coevolutionary arms race between brood parasites and their hosts, which is one of the most behaviorally complex of all host–parasite interactions. To examine cues used by the Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), a non-ejecter that...
Article
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) are bioaccumulative flame retardants. PBDEs increased in many ecosystems during the late 20th century, but recently have declined in some environments. To examine trends in the northern Pacific, we analysed PBDEs, HBCDD and carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (δ(13)C and δ(15...
Article
Full-text available
Brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) are obligate brood parasites. Only females search for host nests and they find host nests one or more days before placing eggs in them. Past work has shown that females have a larger hippocampus than males, but sex differences in spatial cognition have not been extensively investigated. We tested cowbirds for...
Article
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) can be transported long distances and deposited into alpine environments via cold trapping and snow scavenging processes. Here we examined biotic and abiotic factors determining contaminant variability of wildlife in alpine ecosystems. We measured POPs in eggs and plasma of an apex predator, the osprey (Pandion...
Article
Full-text available
We reviewed information on nest sanitation (nest cleaning) by passerine birds because the act of cleaning nests is thought to be associated with egg rejection by hosts of brood parasites, and yet there has been no synthesis of the literature on nest sanitation. In the first part of the review, we summarized information on nest sanitation. We found...
Article
Mercury (Hg) is a global contaminant impacting even remote environments. In alpine watersheds, glacial meltwater is a source of Hg, which accumulated in glaciers during the 1960-1980 cooling cycle. The considerable variation observed for Hg exposure of alpine animals in proximal watersheds could result from differences among those watersheds in Hg...
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Full-text available
Energy stores are critical for successful breeding, and longitudinal studies require nonlethal methods to measure energy stores ("body condition"). Nonlethal techniques for measuring energy reserves are seldom verified independently. We compare body mass, size-corrected mass (SCM), plasma lipids, and isotopic dilution with extracted total body lipi...
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Full-text available
Egg discrimination underlies the evolution of a host's ability to reject a brood parasite's egg, but some hosts do not reject if it is too costly or if the parasitic egg mimics the host egg. We examined cues used by the Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia), a host of the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), in its decision to reject (bury or deser...
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Full-text available
We recorded the responses of Clay-colored Thrushes (Turdus grayi) at a middle elevation in Costa Rica to artificial Bronzed Cowbird (Molothrus aeneus) eggs placed into their nests to determine whether the infrequently observed use of this species as a host is an artifact of egg ejection, or whether the reported rarity of parasitism reflects non-use...
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Full-text available
Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) may be more likely to desert nests parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater) when they interact with the parasite, because desertion frequencies are higher at naturally parasitized nests than at artificially parasitized nests in some brood-parasitic hosts. We experimentally parasitized blackbi...
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Full-text available
The Yellow Warbler (Setophaga petechia (L., 1766)) is among the putative hosts of the Black-billed Cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus (Wilson, 1811)), which is hypothesized to have once been an obligate brood parasite. Most parasites lay a small egg relative to their body size, possibly to prevent hosts from discriminating against the larger egg and...
Article
Full-text available
For centuries, naturalists were aware that soon after hatching the common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) chick became the sole occupant of the fosterer's nest. Most naturalists thought the adult cuckoo returned to the nest and removed or ate the fosterer's eggs and young, or the cuckoo chick crowded its nest mates out of the nest. Edward Jenner published...
Article
The proximate causes triggering nest abandonment have important implications in the host–parasite arms race. Cowbird parasitism and rejection of parasitism are costly to some hosts; therefore, cues affecting their responses have important evolutionary implications. Experimental addition of a cowbird egg to the nest of a yellow warbler, a host that...
Article
Full-text available
In response to brood parasitism by the Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater), some female Yellow Warblers (Dendroica petechia) bury cowbird eggs and sometimes their own eggs, whereas other females desert parasitized nests and renest at new sites. We identified circumstances that elicit burial or desertion by analyzing the histories of 132 naturally...
Article
Some hosts of the brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater) possess defences that eliminate all or most parasitism costs. Yellow warblers (Dendroica petechia) bury cowbird eggs, possibly to clean nests rather than serving strictly as an anti-parasite defence, as non-egg-shaped objects have been ejected, buried, or deserted by other hosts. With two expe...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
We are looking at multi-level effects of flame retardants that are currently on the Canadian market. Japanese quail will be exposed in ovo to flame retardants and physiological and behavioural effects will be measured.