Kasun Harshana Bodawatta
Section for Molecular Ecology and Evolution
Øster Farimagsgade 5, bygning 7
1353 København K
My research work mainly focus on understanding evolution of symbiotic interaction bewteen birds and their microorganisms. I conduct my main field work in Papua New Guinea but I am also planning to conduct research on danish bird species such as Great tits. I am interested in four main research topics related to avian-microbe symbiosis.
1. Impact of diet on bird digestive tract microbiota (DTM) - mainly looking at how different diets with different nutritional conditions might shape the DTM of birds. I am also interested in paraphyletic clade of Toxic birds to understand whether their DTM play a role in utilization of toxic intake with these bird's diets
2. Bird communites and their DTM communities - In this project I am interested in understanding whether bird DTMs are shaped by the habitat they occupy (i.e., elevation) or the phylogeny (i.e., closely related species). I will investigate DTM of niche replacemnt bird species from two to three bird communities to answer this question.
3. Role of Avian blood parasites (i.e., malaria) on bird communities - In this project I am interested in understanding how birds deal with microbial parasites and understanding the biogeographic trends this host-pathohgen symbiosis.
3.1. Potential role of DTM to aid birds to cooporate with blood parasite infections: I am also interested in understanding whether DTM has a role in reducing the impact of the blood parasites on their hosts. To answer this question we will look at blood parasite communities and DTMs of one species of birds from multiple locations in PNG.
4. Investigation of Uropygial gland microbiota - In this project I am interested in identyfying the bacteria lives within bird uropygial gland. After identification through multiple coculture assays I will try to undersatnd the potential antimicrobial properties of common uropygial gland bacteria.