Ted Miller (Department of Biology, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada) | November 20, 2015 - 15h00 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão


The traditional concept of homology as applied in morphology has been challenged by developments in genetics and developmental biology. Terms like “deep homology” and “partial biology” have emerged to reflect our understanding better. Many biologists now simply treat homology as synonymous with “synapomorphy”, i.e. a trait shared between related lineages that was present in their common ancestor. Identification of homologies is the first step in evolutionary and systematic studies, including those on acoustic displays of birds and other groups. In this talk, I will apply the homology concept to vocal and non-vocal displays of birds, particularly shorebirds. Examples will be presented to illustrate divergence across multiple scales, beginning with intraspecific geographic variation.


Ted (Edward H.) Miller is a Professor in the Department of Biology, Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. His early research was on pinniped behaviour and communication (New Zealand, Alaska, and Atlantic Canada). For his PhD, he studied breeding biology and communication in a shorebird. Through that, he became interested in the evolution of acoustic communication. His current shorebird research emphasizes geographic variation of acoustic signals within species, and acoustic divergence among closely related species. As part of this work, he is studying vocal‐tract anatomy. In those subject areas, he is collaborating with Tiago Rodrigues and David Gonçalves on snipe (Scolopacidae: Gallinago).


[Group Leader: Paulo Célio Alves, Conservation Genetics and Wildlife Management]


Image credits: Ted Miller