Smart Songbird’s Genome is Milestone for Cognition Research

A well-known songbird, the great tit, has revealed its genetic code, offering researchers new insight into how species adapt to a changing planet. Their initial findings suggest that epigenetics — what’s on rather than what’s in the gene — may play a key role in the evolution of memory and learning. And that’s not just true for birds. An international research team led by the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) and Wageningen University recently published these findings in Nature Communications. Kyle Schachtschneider, a member of the Schook Lab and a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University, is part of this team.