Dr. Ryan Shipley

Department of Migration
Research Group Partecke

Main Focus

Main Focus

Our planet flourishes with biodiversity that range along a spectrum of life histories; with some traits varying by orders of magnitude.  Despite this range in diversity, certain combinations of life history traits do not exist in nature. My overarching research goal is to gain insight into the biological patterns and processes that have shaped this immense diversity of life history traits and the mechanisms that maintain it. Much of my research thus far has focused on the challenge animals face, their struggle against inhospitable conditions, and the extreme measures that translate to survival.

My current research focuses at the interface of physiological ecology, molecular biology and electrical engineering and I draw from across these disciplines in my research. Through comparative analyses, controlled laboratory experiments, population level studies, and novel tool development, I work to understand the evolutionary origins, drivers, and maintenance of phenotypic variation and the role that trait variation plays in fitness and survival. To date, I have focused on three core research areas in avian systems: 1) developmental plasticity and phenotypic fitness, 2) the relationship between developmental cues and trait expression, and 3) spatial variation of traits and behavior related to thermoregulation.

Research Interests

Phenotypic plasticity, development, energetics, vertebrate physiology, life history trade-offs, life history evolution

Curriculum Vitae

  • Humboldt Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Radolfzell, DE
  • 2012-2018: PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, “Environmental effects on developing birds, short-term adjustments with lifelong impacts”, with Dr. David Winkler, Cornell University, NY, USA
  • 2008-2011: MSc Bioinformatics and Spatial Analysis, University of Oklahoma, OK, USA
  • 2004-2008: BSc Zoology, University of Central Oklahoma, OK, USA
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