Impact of low genetic diversity and inbreeding on sperm health in native and introduced birds in New Zealand

Dr Helen Taylor is currently assessinRobin3 4frombestg sperm health in five populations of South Island robins with various translocation histories. Her aim is to establish the impact that the population bottlenecks and subsequent inbreeding experienced by the birds in these populations is having on male reproductive fitness in this species.

Helen measures sperm motility (swimming speed) in the field in her mobile laboratory and then brings sperm samples back to the lab at Otago to assess aspects of sperm morphology, and the degree of DNA fragmentation within sperm.