Honours student
Aubrey Kiernan

I am currently in my Honours year at Flinders University in the Weisbecker Lab. In 2019, I graduated from a Bachelor of Science at the University of Queensland, majoring in Zoology and Ecology. My working project title is “The nocturnal Letter-winged Kite (Elanus scriptus) and diurnal birds of prey: visual anatomy differences are not like night and day”. The Letter-winged kite is an endemic Australian hawk and the only nocturnal species within its order. Little is understood about the visual processing capabilities that allow this species to hunt at night, but with my research I hope to change that.¬†As a morphological comparison study, I am using micro-CT scanned skulls and 3D medical imaging software to infer visual abilities. I have done similar research on the Night Parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis), reconstructing the first endocast of this enigmatic species and forming methods to measure different parts of the skull. I enjoy working on skulls and brains and this research combines my two major interests: vertebrate evolution and conservation!