Dr Sonya Clegg

Research Interests

I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the processes that promote divergence in wild vertebrate systems. To understand the processes of genetic, morphological and ecological/behavioural differentiation, I combine field and molecular ecology approaches in my research. I currently lead a long-term field project on natural selection, demography and behaviour in a bird population of silvereye on Heron Island, Australia and have projects on Australian and Pacific island bird populations examining genomic diversification, the genetic basis of dispersal, and evolutionary ecology implications of avian malaria. I am also interested in repeated patterns of evolution, such as those associated with the island syndrome, a suite of changes that are regularly associated with island dwelling. 

Contact Details

Selected Publications

Sandvig E, TN Coulson, SM Clegg (2019) The effect of insularity on avian growth rates and implications for insular body size evolution. Proc Roy Soc. B 286:20181967.

Sandvig E, TN Coulson, J Kikkawa, SM Clegg (2017) The influence of climatic variation and density on the survival of an insular passerine Zosterops lateralis. PLoS One 12(4): e0176360.

Clark NJ, SM Clegg (2017) Integrating phylogenetic and ecological distances reveals new insights into parasite host specificity. Molecular Ecology 26: 3074-3086.

Siepielski A, MB Morrissey, M Buoro, SM Carlson, CM Caruso, SM Clegg, T Coulson, J DiBattista, KM Gotanda, CD Francis, J Hereford, JG Kingsolver, KE Augustine, LEB Kruuk, RA Martin,

Sheldon, N Sletvold, EI Svensson, MJ Wade, ADC MacColl (2017) Precipitation drives global variation in natural selection. Science 355: 959-962

Clark NJ, K Wells, D Dimitrov, SM Clegg (2016) Co-infections and environmental conditions drive the distributions of blood parasites in wild birds. Journal of Animal Ecology 85:1461-1470.

Potvin, DA, SM Clegg (2015) The relative roles of cultural drift and acoustic adaptation in shaping syllable repertoires of island bird populations change with time since colonization. Evolution 69: 368-380.

Clegg SM, DF Frentiu, J Kikkawa, G Tavecchia and IPF Owens (2008) 4000 years of phenotypic change in an island bird: heterogeneity of selection over three microevolutionary timescales. Evolution 62: 2393-2410.

Clegg SM, SM Degnan, J Kikkawa, C Moritz, A Estoup and IPF Owens (2002) Genetic consequences of sequential founder events by an island-colonizing bird. PNAS 99: 8127-8123.

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