Prof. Andrew Iwaniuk, University of Lethbridge

Since my PhD I have continuously collaborated in several comparative studies with Dr. Andrew Iwaniuk, in the University of Lethbridge, who’s lab houses the largest collections of bird brains in the world. This includes studies on the size of the olfactory bulb in new world vultures (Grigg et al., 2017), forebrain-cerebellar pathways in parrots (Gutierrez-Ibanez et al., 2018) and more (e.g. Cunha et al. 2021). This collaboration is ongoing and we are currently working in projects related to variations in neuronal numbers in visual, somatosensory and motor areas of birds. Together these studies helps us understand the forces that drive brain evolution in birds.

Photos of the brains of: (a) black vulture (Coragyps atratus); and (b) turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).The arrows indicate the olfactory bulbs (OB) and optic lobes (TeO).