2020-03-17: The global COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold as do institutional and government responses. We are monitoring the situation and responding to guidance and imperatives from Queen's University. For now we intend to stay open for individual researchers for the Spring and Summer but encourage them to access our facilities and landbase each day from home packing their own bagged lunch. We will not host gatherings of more than 10 people, and field courses, large workshops and other such meetings will not be hosted until further notice. For researchers from farther away, we will work to accommodate you in our facilities but will seek to ensure 'social distancing' with only one person per cabin, plenty of hand sanitizer and soap and water, and access to cooking facilities so that individuals may provide for themselves (we are exploring kitchen options). Please contact us should you have questions and note that our plans and actions may change as the situation evolves. Here is a link to COVID-19 resources at Queen's: https://www.queensu.ca/covidinfo/

Should you have questions regarding activities at QUBS please contact our Senior Manager Sonia Nobrega, Operations Managers of our two campuses, Aron Zolderdo and Adam Morcom, of QUBS Director Stephen Lougheed.

Please check back regularly for the latest updates.

New Work Shows Relation Between Song Complexity & Immune Strategy

March 15th, 2014

Research done by Western University researchers reveals that song complexity, learned early in life, relates to innate extra-cellular immunity in song sparrows.

Work done by Shawn Kubli and Beth MacDougall-Shackleton (University of Western Ontario) at QUBS Bracken Tract has provided new insights into the relation between song complexity and immune response in song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Immune responses can be cell-mediated (i.e. independent of antibodies, and involving activities of phagocytes, release of cytokines etc.) or antibody-based non-cellular immunity. Kubli and MacDougall-Shackleton evaluated components of song and distinct facets of the immune system in song sparrows. They found that song complexity of male song sparrows, which develops early in life, was a good predictor of non-cellular immunity; they also found that there was an negative relation between cell-mediated and non-cellular immunity. In other words, individuals that relied more on non-cell-mediated immune response tended to not deploy cell-mediated immune responses and vice versa. This latter results perhaps explains why previous authors have failed to find a consistent result between immune-response and male signal quality, as they have failed to disentangle different components of immune response.

For more information read the news release published on the American Naturalist web site where the article will be published.

Song sparrow
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