Matthew Ian McKim Louder

I am a biologist interested in the ecology and evolution of animal behavior. I received my M.S and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While I am interested in the life histories and identification of most taxa, I am particularly fascinated with brood parasitic birds, species that lay their eggs in the nests of other species and rely on those hosts to raise their parasitic offspring. Although this reproductive strategy is often thought of negatively ("lazy birds"), we still do not understand how brood parasites evolved from non-parasitic ancestors. The strategy is rare (<1% of all bird species), reflecting numerous constraints that prohibit the transition from parental to brood parasitic reproduction.

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