Dr. Ignas Safari Mng'anya

IMPRS Alumni
MPI for Ornithology Seewiesen

Main Focus

Evolution of classical polyandry and sex-role reversal in the African black coucal
The African black coucal (Centropus grillii) and the white-browed coucal (Centropus superciliosus) are congeneric bird species. In the damp grasslands of south-western Tanzania these species share the same breeding habitat and feed on similar prey but they show extreme differences in their mating system and parental care patterns. Whereas the white-browed coucal is socially monogamous with both female and males sharing parental duties, the black coucal is polyandrous and has reversed sex roles: female black coucals are mated with up to four males (polyandry), sing and defend a large territory in which the males raise the offspring alone without assistance from the female. Polyandry and sex-role reversal is rather rare in animals and its evolution, causation, development and survival value are not well understood. I am interested to understand why the black coucal and the white-browed coucal exhibit such a divergent mating and parental-care behavior despite sharing the same breeding habitat and food resources. I will collect empirical field data from the two sympatric coucals in an effort to understand why the two coucals exhibit such marked divergent breeding behavior.

Curriculum Vitae

  • From 1st October 2014: PhD student, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Seewiesen, Germany
  • April - September 2014: Germany language course at Goethe Institute in Mannheim, Germany
  • 2009 - 2011: Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation at the University of Dodoma, Tanzania
  • 2005 - 2008: Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science and Conservation at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Go to Editor View