My scientific interests deal with behavioural ecology and more generally evolutionary biology. During my master thesis, I focused on the role played by ultraviolet reflectance of the nestling skin in parent-offspring communication in the starling (Sturnus vulgaris). In 2004 I started a PhD with the major aim to investigate the causes underlying the evolution and maintenance of colour polymorphism in populations. For this purpose, I am working with the tawny owl (Strix aluco), a bird that displays red, brown and grey morphs. Previous studies showed that this colour polymorphism is not neutral with respect to fitness components suggesting that morphs may be associated with alternative life history strategies that are equally rewarding. To test this hypothesis I am combining field studies and lab work to determine the advantages of the different morphs in relation to ecological and climatic factors. This project has the potential to provide key information on the selective mechanism that may maintain colour polymorphism such as negative frequency-dependent selection and genotype by environment interactions.