Stefano Iantorno L&S Sciences
Effects of habitat fragmentation on the population genetic structure of the white-ruffed manakin, Corapipo altera, in southwestern Costa Rica
My research project revolves around the population genetic structure of the white-ruffed manakin, Corapipo altera, a species of passerine bird native to Costa Rica that has been previously studied to determine the effects of deforestation and habitat fragmentation on the genetic diversity of bird populations. By sequencing 15 microsatellite DNA loci from blood samples of individuals of different subpopulations, we hope to detect some genetic structuring indicating an absence of gene flow as expected by theoretical population genetics models. This result, if actually observed, would contradict previous research in this area and provide useful insight into the dynamics of habitat fragmentation and its consequences on the viability of wild avian populations. After the preliminary planning is complete, the necessary fieldwork will be carried out in Costa Rica between August 25th and October 7th.