The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s department of physics and astronomy, in partnership with the Office of Maunakea Management, will be hosting the Maunakea Speaker Series—a monthly scholar-focused presentation.
“Birds of Paradise Lost: Evolution, Extinction and Conservation of Hawaiʻi’s Birds” by Rob Fleischer, senior scientist with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, will be held on February 9 at 7 p.m. at the UH Hilo Science and Technology Building room 108. On-campus parking is open and available without charge.
Rob Fleischer will discuss Hawaiʻi’s native birds, and how he and his colleagues use DNA methods to study the evolutionary relationships, population genetics, diets and the impacts and mitigation of introduced disease.
Fleischer’s research with the Smithsonian Institution involves application of DNA and genetic analyses to studies in conservation, evolution and animal behavior. His research often focuses on the use of DNA and genetics to document changes in genetic variation (especially with recently extinct Hawaiian avifauna) and to study the evolutionary interactions between hosts, vectors and infectious disease organisms, such as introduced avian malaria in native Hawaiian birds.