The wire-tailed manakin (Pipra filicauda) is a neotropical, lek-breeding bird well-known for its exaggerated courtship display. Territorial males and non-territorial floaters exhibit a rare reproductive strategy in which two males engage in cooperative courtship displays. Jennifer Houtz will discuss her research project conducted in Ecuador, which aimed to determine how altering testosterone levels would influence manakin social network structure.
Jennifer Houtz is a PhD student at Cornell University in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She graduated from Millersville University with a B.S. in Animal Behavior. She has received prestigious research awards such as the 2017 Barry Goldwater Scholarship and 2018 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. At Millersville, she worked on projects investigating the social behavior of the wire-tailed manakin and the development of the European starling gut microbiome. At Cornell, she is studying the mechanistic links between the gut microbiome and stress physiology in tree swallows.