backResearcher Profile

Jaroslav Picman

Job Title: Associate Professor
Employer: Dept. Biology, Univ. of Ottawa
Place of Birth: Trutnov, Bohemia, Czech Republic
Public School attended: Prague
High School attended: Prague
Further Education: Charles' University in Prague (Czech Republic)(M.Sc.), University of British Columbia (Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: BC, Ontario, Czech Republic

Brief synopsis of current research:
In the past 25 years I have been studying the role of nest predation and behavioral interactions between marsh-nesting passerines in the evolution of passerine reproductive strategies. More recently I have initiated several projects dealing with strength of avian eggs. More specifically, I am interested in finding out (1) why some birds (e.g. Marsh Wens) lay eggs of unusual structural strength; (2) what are the egg/eggshell mechanisms that control the structural strength of eggs; and (3) what are the consequences of laying unusually strong eggs with respect to one of its main costs - the hatching process.


Recent Publications:

Picman, J. and S. Pribil. 1997. Is greater eggshell density an alternative mechanism by which parasitic cuckoos increase the strength of their eggs? Journal fur Ornithologie 138: 531-541.

Pribil, S. and J. Picman. 1997. The importance of using the proper methodology and spatial scale in the study of habitat selection by birds. Can. J. Zool. 75: 1835-1844.

Picman, J., Pribil, S. and A.K. Picman. 1996. The effect of intraspecific egg destruction on the strength of Marsh Wrens eggs. Auk 113: 599-607.

Pribil, S. and J. Picman. 1996. Polygyny in the red-winged blackbirds: do females prefer monogamy or polygamy? Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 38: 183-190.

I have originally selected the marsh-nesting passerines for my studies because marshes are extremely interesting habitats accommodating birds with rather unique behavioral/ecological characteristics (polygyny, coloniality, egg-destroying behavior, interspecific aggression and territoriality). The relative simplicity of these habitats and their avian communities offer an excellent opportunity for various kinds of experimental studies designed to test the adaptive value of unique characteristics exhibited by these birds.