Tim Wright

Professor: Biology Department
wright@nmsu.edu | (575) 646-1136

 

Research in the Wright Lab focuses on the function, evolution and underlying mechanisms of learned vocal signals in birds. Across the animal kingdom, the ability to learn vocal communication signals is restricted to a few evolutionarily distinct groups (songbirds, hummingbirds and parrots among birds; humans, bats and whales among mammals). Parrots, in particular, are renowned for their vocal mimicry abilities in captivity, but less is known about how learning is used in the wild. Thus they present exciting opportunities for understanding how learning shapes communication behavior, how the function of learned vocalizations might differ between species, and how the underlying neural and endocrine mechanisms have evolved. 

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