SDFO Meeting – Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm
Program: Dr. Diego Sustaita will present “Predatory performance of the Loggerhead Shrike.”
“Shrikes hold a particular fascination for anybody who has ever encountered them: something about their mysterious black mask, raptorial hooked beak, and of course, their unique impaling behavior. Here I cobble together bits and pieces of my research on shrikes, which is ultimately aimed at understanding how you get something that hunts like a hawk, kills like a falcon, and ‘float[s] like a butterfly, sting[s] like a bee’, all in the body of songbird. I combine data on beak form and function, foraging behavior, and genetics to examine the sources of variation in feeding morphology and performance of Loggerhead Shrikes.”
Diego Sustaita is an organismal biologist who specializes in ecological morphology. His research is focused on feeding and locomotor mechanisms of birds and small mammals, to better understand specifically how and why they are adapted to their environments. His research integrates anatomy, biomechanics, ecology, and wildlife conservation and management. He is an Assistant Professor of Biology at California State University, San Marcos. Diego obtained B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology from California State University, Northridge, and a Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut.