Episode 32: Anna Hiller - Hybridization in Andean Nectar Bandits

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By LSU Experimental, LSU Communication across the Curriculum, and LSU College of Science. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
In nature, hybrid zones are where two species or varieties meet and cross-fertilize, such as the classic donkey + horse = mule. A single hybrid zone is scientifically important for understanding how species diverge. So imagine the excitement of finding not just one, but two hybrid zones in the Andes of South America. And even cooler, the hybrid zone is the home of a special type of bird, flowerpiercers, who steal nectar from plants using their pirate-hooked bills. Anna Hiller, LSU Museum of Natural Science PhD candidate, tells us what hybrid zones are, what we can learn from them, and how she is using the flowerpiercers as her model. She also shares adventures from her previous expeditions and how her passion to include women in science is informing her upcoming field trips to Peru and Bolivia.

33 episodes