Research Theme within School of Biosciences: Organisms and Environment
The reproductive biology of birds
BSc 1987 University of Southampton, Biology
MScF 1993 University of Toronto, Avian physiology
DPhil 1998 University of Oxford, Avian reproductive biology
2000-2002 Postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Memphis (TN) and Archbold Biological Station (FL)
2003- Lecturer in Ornithology and Animal Conservation at the University of Birmingham
Nutrient acquisition and utilisation by reproductive birds
Acquisition and utilisation of nutrients for reproduction require considerable energetic and temporal investments on the part of the breeding bird. Dr Reynolds is interested in how endogenous and exogenous nutrient-use is mediated during breeding attempts.
Past research has focused on macronutrient use by Florida Scrub-Jays (Aphelocoma coerulescens) and micronutrient use by Zebra Finches (Taeniopygia guttata). He continues to study further aspects of nutrient-limited reproduction in small passerines. Current research examines the influences of food supplementation on various reproductive parameters of garden and woodland birds, including timing of laying, clutch size, chick growth and survival, fledging success and mid and long-term survival (e.g. recruitment to the breeding population), and investigations of the energetic investment of reproductive phases.
He is also examining the functional significance of pigmentation patterns of eggshells (with Dr Phill Cassey at the University of Adelaide, and Dr Vallo Tilgar and Prof. Raivo Mänd at the University of Tartu, Estonia). Future research will continue to focus on various impacts of food availability on life-history parameters and future work will use controlled aviaries to examine the reproductive consequences of nutrient limitation.
Dr Reynolds also undertakes research on the breeding biology of the Sooty Tern (Onychoprion fuscata) colony on Ascension Island in the south Atlantic where he works on their population dynamics including threats to colony stability, movements of birds during and between breeding seasons, and the breeding cycle. He collaborates with Prof. Alistair Dawson (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Edinburgh) and Prof. Chris Feare (University of Leeds) among others.
He has a number of external collaborators including: Dr Andrew Gosler (Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology, University of Oxford) and Dr Ivan Miksik (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic) - functional significance of eggshell pigmentation in Great (Parus major) and Blue (Cyanistes caeruleus) Tits; Drs Stuart Bearhop and Jon Blount (University of Exeter at Falmouth) - further studies of food supplementation, including the use of stable isotope analysis; Prof. Marcel Visser (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, Heteren, The Netherlands) - reproductive energetics of small passerines; Dr Kim Fernie (Canadian Wildlife Service, Burlington, Ontario, Canada) - effects of electromagnetic fields on breeding performance of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor); Prof. Steve Schoech (University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA), Dr Reed Bowman (Archbold Biological Station, Venus, FL, USA) and Dr Annette Sauter (Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland) - food availability and reproductive performance of Florida Scrub-Jays.
His group has also hosted a number of overseas students under the IAESTE scheme run by the British Council. They have included students from Brazil, Croatia, Mongolia, Ivory Coast, Poland, Serbia and the USA who were trained in ornithological techniques both in the laboratory and in the field.
Current active projects include:
The functional significance of eggshell pigmentation in garden birds (Kaat Brulez) and quail (Camille Duval) (co-supervisor: Dr Phill Cassey, Adelaide)
Assessing the ecological significance of linkage and connectivity for avian biodiversity in urban areas (Emma Rosenfeld; with co-supervisors - Drs Jon Sadler & Adam Bates, GEES)
The effects of supplementary feeding on the reproductive biology of garden birds (Simone Webber)
The population dynamics of Sooty Terns (Onychoprion fuscata) on Ascension Island in the south Atlantic (John Hughes)
Robb, G.N., R. Inger, J. Newton, R.A.R. McGill, R.A. McDonald, D.E. Chamberlain, S.J. Reynolds, T.J.E. Harrison and S. Bearhop, S. In press. Using stable isotope analysis as a technique for determining individual consumption of supplementary foods in birds. The Condor.
Hughes, B.J., G.R. Martin and S.J. Reynolds. In press. The use of Google Earth satellite imagery to detect the nest of Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra). Wildlife Biology.
Wilcoxen, T.E., E.S. Bridge, R.K. Boughton, M.A. Rensel, S.J. Reynolds and S.J. Schoech. 2011. Parental, social and environmental factors associated with hatching failure in Florida Scrub-Jays Aphelocoma coerulescens. Ibis 153: 70–77.
Reynolds, S.J. and C.M. Perrins. 2010. Dietary calcium availability and reproduction in birds. Current Ornithology 17: 31–74.
Hughes, B.J., G.R. Martin and S.J. Reynolds. 2010. Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscatus on Ascension Island in the south Atlantic are a reproductively isolated population. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 18: 194–198.
Harrison, T.J.E., G.R. Martin, J.A. Smith, D.E. Chamberlain, S. Bearhop, G.N. Robb and S.J. Reynolds. 2010. Does food supplementation really enhance productivity in breeding birds? Oecologia 164: 311–320.
Portugal, S.J., R. Isaac, K.L. Quinton and S.J. Reynolds. 2010. Do captive waterfowl alter their behaviour patterns during their flightless period of moult? Journal of Ornithology 151: 443–448.
Reynolds, S.J., G.R. Martin, C.P. Wearn and B.J. Hughes. 2009. Sub-lingual oral fistulas in sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscata). Journal of Ornithology 150: 691–696.
Reynolds, S.J., G.R. Martin and P. Cassey. 2009. Is sexual selection blurring the functional significance of eggshell coloration hypotheses? Animal Behaviour 78: 209–215.
Wilkin, T.A., A.G. Gosler, D. Garant, S.J. Reynolds and B.C. Sheldon. 2009. Calcium effects on life-history traits in a wild population of the great tit (Parus major): analysis of long-term data at several spatial scales. Oecologia 159: 463–472.
Quinn, J.L., S.J. Reynolds and R.B. Bradbury. 2008. Editorial: Birds as predators and as prey. Ibis 150 (Suppl. 1): 1–8.
Hughes, B.J., G.R. Martin and S.J. Reynolds. 2008. Cats and seabirds: effects of feral Domestic Cat Felis silvestris catus eradication on the population of Sooty Terns Onychoprion fuscata on Ascension Island, South Atlantic? Ibis 150 (Suppl. 1): 122–131.
Jones, D.N. and S.J. Reynolds. 2008. Feeding birds in our towns and cities: a global research opportunity. Journal of Avian Biology 39: 265–271.
Robb, G.N., R.A. McDonald, D.E. Chamberlain, S.J. Reynolds, T.J.E. Harrison and S. Bearhop. 2008. Winter feeding of birds increases productivity in the subsequent breeding season. Biology Letters 4: 220–223.
Schoech, S.J., E.S. Bridge, R.K. Boughton, S.J. Reynolds, J.W. Atwell and R. Bowman. 2008. Food supplementation: a tool to increase reproductive output? A case study in the threatened Florida Scrub-Jay. Biological Conservation 141: 162–173.
Reynolds, S.J., G.R. Martin, L.L. Wallace, C.P. Wearn and B.J. Hughes. 2008. Sexing sooty terns (Onychoprion fuscata) on Ascension Island from morphometric measurements. Journal of Zoology, London 274: 2–8.
Tilgar, V., P. Kilgas, A. Viitak and S.J. Reynolds. 2008. The rate of bone mineralization in birds is directly related to alkaline phosphatase activity. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 81: 106–111.
Gosler, A.G., J.P. Higham and S.J. Reynolds. 2005. Why are birds’ eggs speckled? Ecology Letters 8: 1105–1113
Tilgar, V., R. Mänd, P. Kilgas and S.J. Reynolds. 2005. Chick development in free-living great tits Parus major in relation to calcium availability and egg composition. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 78: 590–598.
Fernie, K.J. and S.J. Reynolds. 2005. Effects of electromagnetic fields from power lines on avian reproductive biology and physiology: a review. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part B. Critical Reviews 8: 127–140.
Schoech, S.J., R. Bowman and S.J. Reynolds. 2004. Food supplementation and possible mechanisms underlying early breeding in the Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). Hormones and Behavior 46: 565–573.
Reynolds, S.J., R. Mänd and V. Tilgar. 2004. Calcium supplementation of breeding birds: directions for future research. Ibis 146: 601–614.
Tilgar, V., R. Mänd, I. Ots, M. Mägi, P. Kilgas and S.J. Reynolds. 2004. Calcium availability affects bone growth in nestlings of free-living great tits (Parus major), as detected by plasma alkaline phosphatase. Journal of Zoology, London 263: 269–274.. 2004. Calcium availability affects bone growth in nestlings of free-living great tits (), as detected by plasma alkaline phosphatase. : 269–274.
Schoech, S.J., S.J. Reynolds and R.K. Boughton. 2004. Endocrinology. pp. 128–141, In: Ecology and evolution of cooperative breeding in birds, W.D. Koenig and J. Dickinson (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England., W.D. Koenig and J. Dickinson (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England.
Reynolds, S.J., S.J. Schoech and R. Bowman. 2003. Diet quality during pre-laying and nestling periods influences growth and survival of Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) chicks. Journal of Zoology, London 261: 217–226.
Reynolds, S.J. 2003. Mineral retention, medullary bone formation, and reproduction in the White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus): A critique of Larison et al. (2001). The Auk 120: 224–228.
Reynolds, S.J., S.J. Schoech and R. Bowman. 2003. Nutritional quality of prebreeding diet influences breeding performance of the Florida scrub-jay. Oecologia (Berlin) 134: 308–316.
Garvin, J.C., S.J. Reynolds and S.J. Schoech. 2002. Conspecific egg predation by Florida Scrub-Jays. Wilson Bulletin 114: 136–139.
Reynolds, S.J. 2001. The effects of low dietary calcium during egg-laying on eggshell formation and skeletal calcium reserves in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata. Ibis 143: 205–215.: 205–215.
Gosler, A.G., P.R. Barnett and S.J. Reynolds. 2000. Inheritance and variation in eggshell patterning in the great tit Parus major. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences 267: 2469–2473.: 2469–2473.
Reynolds, S.J. and S. Waldron. 1999. Body water dynamics at the onset of egg-laying in the Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata. Journal of Avian Biology 30: 1–6.
Reynolds, S.J. 1997. Uptake of ingested calcium during egg production in the Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata). The Auk 114: 562–569.
Reynolds, S.J. 1997. Body condition, territory ownership and age-related reproductive performance in Spruce Grouse Dendragapus canadensis hens. Ibis 139: 646–651.
Reynolds, S.J. 1996. Establishing body-size indicators in a study of female spruce grouse Dendragapus canadensis. Journal of Zoology, London 240: 113–122.
Reynolds, S.J. and M.D.C. Hinge. 1996. Foods brought to the nest by breeding Kingfishers Alcedo atthis in the New Forest of southern England. Bird Study 43: 96–102.