Brian Olsen – Adapting to Novelty: what tidal marsh birds can teach us about evolving to meet new challenges

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Professor of Ornithology, University of Maine

Tidal marshes of the Atlantic coast of North America are host to a suite of specialized bird taxa, but tidal marshes themselves are geological ephemeral and these taxa are the descendants of species from other ecosystems. Despite their various origins, tidal marsh colonizers share a suite of adaptations and changes in ecological niche that can help us understand more generally how species colonize and respond to novel resources—lessons that are becoming increasingly important as the world changes in ways that species have never experienced.

Brian Olsen holds a B.S. from Juniata College and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, which he earned while working in the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Since 2008, he has been a Professor of Ornithology at the University of Maine.

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