• Ecology & Evolution

    Ecology & Evolution

Our research in the area of Ecology and Evolution aims to address several important questions and uses a host of approaches and techniques to achieve this. Most labs use multidisciplinary approaches spanning several areas such as molecular techniques, quantitative methods, GIS, laboratory experimentation on organism development and physiology, population dynamics, genetic analyses as well as satellite imagery.

James Quinn
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LSB 435
(905) 525-9140 ext. 23194

Genetic relatedness, parentage and behavioural ecology of colonial and cooperative-breeding birds. My research combines the study of animal behaviour and population biology with the examination of molecular genetic markers. The main areas of research are: the evolution of complex social systems in birds; parental care patterns and mate choice; and genetic effects of environmental mutagen loads as estimated by ?DNA fingerprint? mutation rates. To understand the evolution of communal social system we focus on two communal bird species. In Pukeko, a gallinaceous bird inhabiting New Zealand, groups of one to three males and similar numbers of females raise young at a single nest. Sexual access to laying females is shared among sexually mature males. In contrast, smooth-billed anis, a crotophagid bird of Central and South America, engage in a system of social pairs sharing a single nest and competing for access to the incubated clutch of eggs. Females bury each other?s eggs in the structure of the nest. We have detected mutant fragments of DNA in multi-locus mini-satellite profiles of herring gull families. High levels of polycyclic aromatic compounds (PAC) are associated with steel production facilities and automobile emissions. Rates of genetic mutations are being determined for gull colonies with varying levels of PACs.

Ecology & Evolution

  • Dey, C. J., Dale, J., & Quinn, J. S. (2014). Manipulating the appearance of a badge of status causes changes in true badge expression. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20132680
  • Grieves, L.A., Logue, D.M & Quinn, J.S. 2014. Joint-nesting smooth-billed anis, Crotophaga ani, use a functionally referential alarm call system. Animal Behaviour, 89, 215-221.
  • Rickett, J., Dey, C. J., Stothart, J., O'Connor, C. M., Quinn, J. S., & Ji, W. (2013). The influence of supplemental feeding on survival, dispersal and competition in translocated Brown Teal, or Pateke (Anas chlorotis). Emu, 113, 62-68.
  • Dey, C. J., O'Connor, C. M., Balshine, S., & Quinn, J. S. (2013). Cooperative males reduce incubation in response to cues of female–female competition Ibis. 156, 446-451.
  • Quinn, J.S., J. Haselmayer, C. Dey, and I.G. Jamieson. 2012. Tolerance of female co-breeders in joint-laying pukeko: The role of egg recognition and peace incentives. Animal Behaviour 83: 1035-1041.
  • Dey, C, I.G. Jamieson, and J.S. Quinn. 2012. Reproductive skew and female trait elaboration in a cooperative breeding rail. Ibis 154: 452-460.
  • Miller, J. L., J. Sherry, J., Parrott, and J.S. Quinn. 2011. A subchronic in situ exposure method for evaluating effects in small-bodied fish at contaminated sites. Environ. Toxicol.. doi: 10.1002/tox.20772
  • Anmarkrud, J.A., O. Kleven, J. Augustin, K.H. Bentz, D. Blomqvist, K.J. Fernie, M.J.L. Magrath, H. Pärn, J.S. Quinn, R.J. Robertson, T. Szép, S. Tarof, R.H. Wagner, and J.T. Lifjeld. 2011. Factors affecting germline mutations in a hypervariable microsatellite: a comparative analysis of six species of swallows (Aves: Hirundinidae). Mutation Research 708: 37-43.
  • Sorger, G.J. and J.S. Quinn. 2010. Tetracycline-resistant coliforms in the effluent of the main sewage treatment plant in Hamilton, Ontario – do they have a common ancestral strain? Can. J. Microbiol. 56: 1-11.
  • Somers, C.M., E.V. Valdes, VlA. Kjoss, A.M. Vallaincourt, and J.S. Quinn. 2008. Diet of contaminated fish and germline mutations at expanded-simple-tandem-repeat (ESTR) DNA loci in mice Env and Mol Mutagen 49: 238-248.
  • Stiver, K., J. Fitzpatrick, J. Desjardins, B. Neff, J.S. Quinn and S. Balshine. 2008. Lack of inbreeding avoidance in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish. Behav Ecol 19: 816-823.
  • Schmaltz, G., C. Lentz, and J.S. Quinn. 2008. Competition and waste in the communally breeding smooth-billed ani: effects of group size on egg-laying behaviour. Anim Behav 76: 153-162
  • Schmaltz, G., J. S. Quinn, and S. J. Schoech. 2008. Does group-size and laying order influence maternal deposition of testosterone in smooth-billed ani eggs? Hormones and Behavior 53:82-89. DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2007.09.001
  • Stiver K.A., J.K. Desjardins, J.L. Fitzpatrick, B. Neff, J.S. Quinn and S. Balshine. 2007. Evidence for size and sex-specific dispersal in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish. Mol Ecol.16: 2974-2984.
  • Somers, C.M., M.N. Lozer, and J.S.Quinn. 2007. Interactions between double-crested cormorants and herring gulls at a shared breeding site. Waterbirds 30: 241-250.
  • Gregory Schmaltz, Christopher M. Somers, Priya Sharma, & James S. Quinn. 2006. Non-destructive sampling of maternal DNA from the external shell of bird eggs. Conservation Genetics 7: 543-549.
  • Boreham, D.R., Dolling, J.A., Somers, C.M., Quinn, J.S., and Mitchel, R.E.J. (2006). The adaptive response and protection against heritable mutations and fetal malformation. Dose Response, 4:317-326.
  • Macedo, R., J.S. Quinn and M. Lima. 2005. Reproductive skew and individual strategies: Infanticide or Cooperation? Acta Ethol 8: 92-102.
  • Somers, C.M., Valdes, E.V., and Quinn, J.S. 2006. An Approach to Feeding High Percentage Fish Diets to Mice for Human and Wildlife Toxicology Studies. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 63: 481-487.
  • Gregory, S.M., and J.S. Quinn. 2005. Microsatelite isolation from four avian species comparing two isolation techniques. Molecular Ecology Notes 6: 87-89.
  • Somers, C.M., Kwiecien, J.M., and Quinn, J.S. 2005. A marine fish diet reduces spontaneous lymphoma in outbred Swiss-Webster mice. Leukemia and Lymhphoma 46: 1797-1800.
  • Gill, S.A., M.J. Vonhof, B.J.M. Stutchbury, E.S. Morton, and J.S. Quinn. 2005. No evidence for acoustic mate-guarding in duetting buff-breasted wrens (Thryothorus leucotis). Behav. Ecol. and Sociobiol.57: 557-565.
  • Somers, C.M., R. Sharma, J.S. Quinn, and D.R. Boreham. 2004. Gamma radiation-induced heritable mutations at repetitive DNA loci in out-bred mice. Mutation Research 568: 69-78.
  • Vehrencamp, S.L., and J.S. Quinn. 2004. Joint laying systems. In Ecology and Evolution of Cooperative Breeding in Birds. (W.D. Koenig and J.L. Dickinson Eds.). Cambridge University Press.
  • Somers, C.M., B.E. McCarry, F. Malek, and J.S. Quinn. 2004. Reduction of particulate air pollution lowers the risk of heritable mutations in mice. Science 304: 1008-1010.
  • Somers, C.M., M. Lozer, V.A. Kjoss and J.S. Quinn. 2003. High frequency of the invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) in the diet of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) in Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario. Journal of Great Lakes Research.
  • Somers, C.M, C.L. Yauk, P.A. White, C.J.L. Parfett and J.S. Quinn. 2002. Air pollution induces heritable DNA mutations. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 99: 15904-15907
  • Morris, R.D., C. Pekarik, D.V. Chip Weseloh, and J.S. Quinn. 2001. Progress Toward Colonial Waterbird Population Targets in Hamilton Harbour. Ontario Birds Vol. 19 1:12-25
  • Blanchard, L., and J.S. Quinn. 2001. The Characterization of Microsatellite loci in the Communally Breeding Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani).Molecular Ecology Notes 1:152-154
  • Yauk C.L., Bishop C.A., Smits, J.E., Quinn, J.S. Pulmonary Histopathology in Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) from Colonies near Steel Mills and in Rural Areas. Journal Bulletin of Env. Cont. and Toxicology.
  • Bishop, C.A., P. Ng, P. Mineau, J.S. Quinn, and J. Struger. 2000. The effects of pesticide spraying on chick growth, behaviour and parental care in tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 19:2286-2297.
  • Quinn, J.S. and J.M. Startek-Foote. 2000. Smooth-billed Ani (Crotophaga ani). In The Birds of North America, (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
  • Haselmayer, J. and J.S. Quinn. 2000. A comparison of sound recordings and point counts as bird survey methods in Amazonian South-East Peru.Condor 102:887-893.
  • Yauk, C.L, G.A. Fox, B.E. McCarry and J.S. Quinn. 2000. Induced minisatellite germline mutations in herring gulls (Larus argentatus) living near steel mills.Mutation Research 452:211-218.
  • Moore, O.R., B.J.M. Stutchbury, and J.S. Quinn. 1999. Extra-pair mating system of an asynchronously breeding tropical songbird, the mangrove swallow.Auk116:1039-1046.
  • Yauk, C.L. and J.S. Quinn. 1999. Genetic structure among breeding herring gulls (Larus argentatus) from the Great Lakes and Eastern Canada. J. of Great Lakes Res. 25:856-864
  • Quinn, J. S., G. E. Woolfenden, J. W. Fitzpatrick and B. N. White. 1999. Multi-locus DNA fingerprinting supports monogamy in Florida Scrub Jays. Behav. Ecol. and Sociobiol. 45:1-10.
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology