Tom Sarraude

​My Ph.D. project

I started my PhD at the University of Turku in April 2016 under the supervision of Dr. Suvi Ruuskanen. My thesis focuses on three aspects of maternal THs in birds:
  1. The transfer mechanisms from the mother to the egg. By using thyroid hormone implants, I study the correlation between elevated maternal plasma and yolk THs levels in the Pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca).
  2. The response of yolk THs to environmental conditions. In Europe, my study model is the Great tit (Parus major). Thanks to a collaborative network I have collected eggs from different populations across Europe, from Southern Portugal to Lapland. In Chile, I collected eggs from two different populations of the Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda). My objective is to determine whether yolk THs are influenced by environmental conditions (e.g. ambient temperature).
  3. The short- and long-term effects of yolk THs. I injected THs in egg yolk of two species, within their natural range. In the altricial model, the Pied flycatcher, I investigate the effect on hatching and fledging success, chick growth and physiology. Together with the same short-term responses, I examine the long-term consequences on behaviour, cognition and reproduction in a precocial species, the Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica).

Research team:

PI: Dr. Suvi Ruuskanen 
Post-Doc: Dr. Bin-Yan Hsu 

Contact information

Section of Ecology
Department of Biology
FI-20014 University of Turku

Where to find me:

Natura building
Room 123

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 Tom Sarraude