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Sonia Kleindorfer

Sonia Kleindorfer
Flinders University and University of Vienna

PhD

About

177
Publications
30,428
Reads
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3,837
Citations
Citations since 2016
68 Research Items
2302 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400
Additional affiliations
November 2002 - present
Flinders University

Publications

Publications (177)
Article
Individuals can exhibit strong consistencies in behaviours across time and contexts, referred to as animal personalities. Yet studies linking personality differences measured in captivity to ecologically relevant social behaviours in the wild are sparse and contradictory. Here, we used wild superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, to investigate whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Due to novel or dynamic fluctuations in environmental conditions and resources, host and parasite relationships can be subject to diverse selection pressures that may lead to significant changes during and after invasion of a parasite. Genomic analyses are useful for elucidating evolutionary processes in invasive parasites following their arrival t...
Article
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Personality syndromes in animals may have adaptive benefits for survival. For example, while engaging in predator deterrence, reactive individuals tend to prioritise their own survival, while proactive individuals engage in riskier behaviours. Studies linking animal personality measured in captivity with individual fitness or behaviours in the wild...
Article
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Understanding space use of endangered species is critical for conservation planning and management. The advances in technology and data analysis allow us to collect data with unprecedented quality and inform us about the movements and habitat use of individuals and groups. With only about 700 individuals left in the wild, the Northern Bald Ibis Ger...
Article
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Vocal communication in group-living animals represents a major challenge when multiple individuals call simultaneously and generate a complex soundscape. Decoding relevant information from a vocal signal and its emitter can determine the survival of the receiver. In hierarchical social groups, information on sex, size and age can provide relevant c...
Article
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The avian beak is a key morphological trait used for foraging. If parasites alter beak shape, we may expect changes in host foraging behaviour. Larvae of the avian vampire fly (Philornis downsi) cause naris enlargement in Darwin’s finch nestlings when 1st and 2nd instar larvae consume keratin, blood, and tissue from inside the beak of the developin...
Article
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Charles Darwin proposed his ‘principle of divergence’ to account for changes in traits that could promote speciation and coexistence of diverse forms through occupation of different niches to reduce interspecific competition. We explore interspecific foraging behaviour overlap in Fiji’s forest birds, and address two main questions: (1) Is there ver...
Article
This datasheet on Philornis downsi infestation covers Identity, Overview, Associated Diseases, Pests or Pathogens, Distribution, Hosts/Species Affected, Diagnosis, Pathology, Epidemiology, Impacts, Prevention/Control, Further Information.
Article
This datasheet on Philornis downsi covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Dispersal, Hosts/Species Affected, Biology & Ecology, Environmental Requirements, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Further Information.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the range and behaviour of an invasive species is critical to identify key habitat areas to focus control efforts. Patterns of range use in parasites can differ temporally, across life stages and between sexes. The invasive avian vampire fly, Philornis downsi , spends the larval stage of its life within bird nests, feeding on developi...
Article
Selection should act on parental care and favour parental investment decisions that optimize the number of offspring produced. Such predictions have been robustly tested in predation risk contexts, but less is known about alternative functions of parental care under conditions of parasitism. The avian vampire fly ( Philornis downsi ) is a myasis-ca...
Article
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Historically, bird song complexity was thought to evolve primarily through sexual selection on males; yet, in many species, both sexes sing and selection pressure on both sexes may be broader. Previous research suggests competition for mates and resources during short, synchronous breeding seasons leads to more elaborate male songs at high, tempera...
Article
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When different introduced species across trophic levels (parasite, predator) invade island systems, they may pose significant threats to nesting birds. In this study, we measure nesting height and infer causes of offspring mortality in the critically endangered Medium Tree Finch (Camarhynchus pauper), an island endemic restricted to Floreana Island...
Article
Understanding when learning begins is critical for identifying the factors that shape both the developmental course and the function of information acquisition. Until recently, sufficient development of the neural substrates for any sort of vocal learning to begin in songbirds was thought to be reached well after hatching. New research shows that e...
Article
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Urbanisation is proceeding at an alarming rate which forces wildlife to either retreat from urban areas or cope with novel stressors linked to human presence and activities. For example, urban stressors like anthropogenic noise, artificial light at night and chemical pollution can have severe impacts on the physiology of wildlife (and humans), in p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Context In the era of the Anthropocene, habitat loss and environmental change threaten the persistence of many species. Genotyping-By-Sequencing (GBS) is a useful molecular tool for understanding how patterns of gene flow are associated with contemporary habitat distributions that may be affected by environmental change. Two parapatric subspecies o...
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Local weather conditions may be used as environmental cues by animals to optimize their breeding behaviour, and could be affected by climate change. We measured associations between climate, breeding phenology, and reproductive output in greylag geese ( Anser anser ) across 29 years (1990–2018). The birds are individually marked, which allows accur...
Article
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In invasive parasites, generalism is considered advantageous during the initial phase of introduction. Thereafter, fitness costs to parasites, such as host-specific mortality, can drive parasites towards specialism to avoid costly hosts. It is important to determine changes in host specificity of invasive populations to understand host-parasite dyn...
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Although in-nest parasitism can reduce the fitness of avian hosts, the severity of these effects may vary with host physiology and behaviour. If certain nestling behaviours are beneficial for resisting parasitism, then selection may favour some behavioural phenotypes over others. Here, we tested whether differences in nestling behaviour mediate the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Historically, bird song complexity was thought to evolve primarily through sexual selection on males, yet in many species both sexes sing. Previous research suggests competition for mates and resources during short, synchronous breeding seasons leads to more elaborate male songs at high latitudes. In contrast, we expect male-female song dimorphism...
Article
Early exposure to salient cues can critically shape the development of social behaviors. For example, both oscine birds and humans can hear and learn to recognize familiar sounds in ovo and in utero and recognize them following hatching and birth, respectively. Here we demonstrate that different chronic acoustic playbacks alter genome-wide methylat...
Article
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Empirical data that identify contemporary mechanisms of divergence shed light on how species could multiply. In this study, we measured population genetic structure, song syllable diversity, and response to simulated intruder song in Darwin’s small tree finch (Camarhynchus parvulus) on Santa Cruz and Floreana Islands, Galápagos archipelago. Our aim...
Article
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Across multiple taxa, prenatal exposure to rhythmic sound can promote neural development and alter postnatal behavior. In recent studies using zebra finches, stimulating embryos with parental “heat calls” affected their begging behavior as nestlings and song learning as adults. This song learning effect is potentially mediated by broader changes to...
Article
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Understanding the association between an individual’s position within a social network and its sex and age across seasons can be useful information for conservation management. For example, identifying the social position of females within a group can provide insights into reproductive potential, while the position of juveniles may be related to su...
Article
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Hybridization in natural populations may be an adaptive response to shifting climatic regimes, but understanding this can be limited by the timing of sampling effort and confident identification of hybrids. On the Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s finches regularly hybridize; the islands also show extreme annual variation in rainfall, but the effect of a...
Article
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Fecundity selection is a critical component of fitness and a major driver of adaptive evolution. Trade‐offs between parasite mortality and host resources are likely to impose a selection pressure on parasite fecundity, but this is little studied in natural systems. The ‘fecundity advantage hypothesis’ predicts female‐biased sexual size dimorphism w...
Article
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Darwin's finch species in the Galapagos Archipelago are an iconic adaptive radiation that offer a natural experiment to test for the various factors that influence gut microbiome composition. The island of Floreana has the longest history of human settlement within the archipelago and offers an opportunity to compare island and habitat effects on D...
Article
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Darwin’s finches are an iconic example of an adaptive radiation with well-characterized evolutionary history, dietary preferences, and biogeography, offering an unparalleled opportunity to disentangle effects of evolutionary history on host microbiome from other factors like diet and habitat. Here, we characterize the gut microbiome in Darwin’s fin...
Article
Introduced parasites that alter their host's mating signal can change the evolutionary trajectory of a species through sexual selection. Darwin's Camarhynchus finches are threatened by the introduced fly Philornis downsi that is thought to have accidentally arrived on the Galapagos Islands during the 1960s. The P. downsi larvae feed on the blood an...
Article
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Half of Fiji’s 66 land bird species are endemic and 15 species are threatened with extinction following ~70% deforestation. Under conditions of large-scale habitat loss, secondary vegetation can be important for woodland biodiversity conservation. This study compares avian abundance and diversity in secondary vegetation on Viti Levu, Fiji. We use a...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridization can increase adaptive potential when enhanced genetic diversity or novel genetic combinations confer a fitness advantage, such as in the evolution of anti-parasitic mechanisms. Island systems are especially susceptible to invasive parasites due to the lack of defence mechanisms that usually coevolve in long-standing host-parasite rela...
Article
Several Darwin’s finch populations on the Galapagos Islands are declining and/or locally extinct. Acoustic surveys provide useful information about population size, but do not provide information on the age or morphology of birds. This study uses mist netting data collected during 2004–2016 on Floreana Island with the aim of evaluating minimum long...
Article
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Nest cavities are a limited resource, given the extensive land clearance that has occurred in Australia. Some obligate cavity-nesting birds are vulnerable to extinction and experience risk from heterospecific species that compete for limited nest cavities. The aim of this study was to identify intruder bird species at nest cavities of a threatened...
Article
The relationship between nest site characteristics and nest success is likely to be important in the conservation management of threatened cavity-nesting birds. The vulnerable eastern Regent Parrot (Polytelis anthopeplus monarchoides) is declining in South Australia, but there is little information on the behavioural ecology of its cavity-nesting h...
Article
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Classic studies on the effects of auditory stimulation in embryonic birds have largely been limited to precocial taxa. In altricial taxa, physiological responses of embryos and, subsequently, the behavioral responses of nestlings have begun to receive increasing attention, yet it remains unclear whether and to what specificity neural responses are...
Article
Full-text available
Background Greater complexity of the learned vocal repertoire has been shown to increase mating and territory defence success in songbirds. Vocal learning in some songbird species begins in the egg and these songbird embryos can discriminate the sounds of different birds. Here, we test if prenatal sound discrimination positively correlates with son...
Article
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Songbirds are important models for understanding the mechanisms and fitness consequences of imitative vocal learning. Although the effects of early-life environmental and social conditions on song learning are well-established, the impact of early sound exposure has received surprisingly little attention. Yet recent evidence hints at auditory sensi...
Article
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To investigate changes in vegetation and climate with altitude, we established forest plots and recorded climatic data at 100-m intervals between 550–1100 m asl on the western slopes of Mount Batilamu, Mount Koroyanitu range, Viti Levu, Fiji. Trees with a dbh ≥10 cm were identified and measured in 21 10 × 10-m plots, starting at 750 m altitude. Tem...
Article
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Prenatal auditory stimulation is known to critically affect the development of acoustic preference and species recognition throughout ontogeny in birds. We focus our review on experimental studies that have used birds as model systems to explore the effects of prenatal auditory stimulation on the developing organism. To begin, we introduce concepts...
Article
Passerine song has many functions including mate attraction and territory defence. When songs across populations diverge, this can lead to changes in conspecific recognition and barriers to gene flow, which affect evolutionary processes that could lead to speciation. Two subspecies of thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus) have a parapatric di...
Article
Habitat heterogeneity can have considerable effects on gene flow and migration across a region of parapatry. Describing habitat across a region of parapatry is important for the development of eco-evolutionary theory. Two subspecies of thick-billed grasswren (Amytornis modestus) share a region of parapatry between the South Australian salt lakes, L...
Article
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Extra-pair paternity (EPP), where offspring are sired by a male other than the social male, varies enormously both within and among species. Trying to explain this variation has proved difficult because the majority of the interspecific variation is phylogenetically-based. Ideally, variation in EPP should be investigated in closely related species,...
Article
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The consequences of hybridization for biodiversity depend on the specific ecological and evolutionary context in which it occurs. Understanding patterns of gene flow among hybridizing species is crucial for determining the evolutionary trajectories of species assemblages. The recently discovered hybridization between two species of Darwin's tree fi...
Article
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Extreme heat events will become more frequent under anthropogenic climate change, especially in Mediterranean ecosystems. Microhabitats can considerably moderate (buffer) the effects of extreme weather events and hence facilitate the persistence of some components of the biodiversity. We investigate the microclimatic moderation provided by two impo...
Data
Set up and shielding of microsensors. a) Microsensor as placed in ground-below-canopy microhabitat at about 50 cm height on a bamboo stick in an inverted white plastic cup covered with white duct tape; b) Set up of microsensors placed in leaf-litter and grass-tree microhabitats: placed inside metal tea strainers covered with white duct tape on the...
Data
Temperature raw data for all study sites. See manuscript for site codes. BC = ground-below-canopy microhabitat (0.5 m above the ground), GT = in the cavity formed by the senescent leaves of a grass tree; LL = in the leaf litter. (XLSX)
Data
Relative humidity raw data for all study sites. See manuscript for site codes. BC = ground-below-canopy microhabitat (0.5 m above the ground), GT = in the cavity formed by the senescent leaves of a grass tree; LL = in the leaf litter. (XLSX)
Data
Plant abundances for each study site. Abundance was determined using a modified Braun-Blanquet scale (5 = >75% cover; 4 = 50–74% cover; 3 = 25–49% cover; 2 = 10–25% cover; 1 = 10% cover) for a single circular plot with a radius of 11.28 m (area = c. 400 m2). See text of manuscript for site codes. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Early environmental enrichment improves postnatal cognition in animals and humans. Here, we examined the effects of the prenatal acoustic environment (parental song rate) on prenatal attention in superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus) embryos, the only songbird species with evidence of prenatal discrimination of maternal calls and in ovo call learning...
Article
Full-text available
The composition and diversity of bacteria forming the microbiome of parasitic organisms have implications for differential host pathogenicity and host-parasite co-evolutionary interactions. The microbiome of pathogens can therefore have consequences that are relevant for managing disease prevalence and impact in affected hosts. Here we investigate...
Article
Divergence is the first phase of speciation and is commonly thought to occur more readily in allopatric populations. Subspecies are populations that are divergent but generally retain the capacity to interbreed should they come into contact. Two subspecies of the Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus) are divergent by 1.7% at the mitochondrial...
Article
Full-text available
Floreana Island has the highest proportion of local land bird extinctions on the Galápagos Archipelago, and is home to the range-restricted and critically endangered Medium Tree Finch Camarhynchus pauper . We used acoustic surveys during 2004, 2008 and 2013 to compare the estimated population size of C. pauper and other land bird species in a remna...
Chapter
Full-text available
Island populations have high extinction risk from introduced diseases that can spread quickly among geographically clustered naïve individuals. To conserve endemic island species, we need a suite of tools to analyse current threats posed by introduced species. Darwin’s finches of the Galápagos Islands are being decimated by parasitic larvae of the...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding host-parasite interactions requires that the multi-faceted relationships among ecological, behavioral and molecular processes be characterized and integrated. The introduced parasitic fly of birds, Philornis downsi (Diptera: Muscidae), was accidentally introduced to the Galápagos Islands circa 1960s and the consequences of its introdu...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: In order to protect and conserve threatened species we need to have knowledge of their behavioural ecology. The Thick-billed Grasswren (TBGW) (Maluridae, Amytornis modestus raglessi) is a small ground-dwelling arid zone passerine that is shy and elusive. It is threatened by anthropogenic factors such as grazing and is therefore listed a...
Article
The rate of evolution depends on the strength of selection, which may be particularly strong for introduced parasites and their naive hosts. Because natural selection acts on phenotypes and because parasites can alter host phenotype, one fruitful starting point to measure the impact of novel pathogens is to quantify parasite-induced changes to host...