Many researchers have drawn crucial insights from species invasions, underlining animal behavior as an essential component of invasion biology. High adaptations to new environments, dispersal ability, gregariousness and generalism have been suggested to enhance their invasiveness.
During the invasion process, animals are likely to be confronted with unfamiliar foods. Thus, the ability to subsist in different environments is linked to the challenges of ingesting, digesting, and assimilating a combination of foods that provide the required amounts and ratios of macronutrients (protein, lipid, and carbohydrates).
This multidisciplinary project aims to gain innovative insights in the role of nutrition in invasion success. Using common myna birds (Sturnus tristis) as a model system, we are examining a number of nutritional factors that could drive invasion success, including the role of nutritional balance, the importance of protein quality and availability and energy consumption. Other projects in this theme include wild boars (Sus scrofa).
Peneaux C, Machovsky-Capuska GE, Raubenheimer D, Lermite F, Rousseau C, Rodger J, Griffin AS (2017). Tasting novel foods and selecting nutrient content in a highly successful ecological invader, the common myna. Journal of Avian Biology, 48:001-009. https://doi.org/10.1111/jav.01456 . (IF 2.4) [pdf]
Machovsky-Capuska GE, Senior AM, Simpson SJ, Raubenheimer D (2016). The Multi-dimensional Nutritional Niche. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 31:355-365. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2016.02.009. (IF 18.3) [pdf]
Senior AM, Grueber CE, Machovsky-Capuska GE, Simpson SJ, Raubenheimer D (2016). Macronutritional consequences of Food Generalism in an Invasive Mammal, the Wild Boar. Mammalian Biology, 81:523-526. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2016.07.001. (IF 1.4) [pdf]