Zachary Chu



I am currently investigating the impacts of land-use change on functional diversity, followed by a research project analysing how land-use change in Colombia affects bill morphology and how this compares to species responses.

Functional diversity is the component of biodiversity focussed on what organisms do in their ecosystems by looking at their traits, which is of great conservation significance. This can be seen clearly in birds- continuous morphological traits can reflect the ecological role of different species, with traits such as bill depth and breadth indicating diet. Different feeding guilds have different ecological roles; frugivorous birds are vital for long-range seed dispersal and are critical in forest regeneration and expansion, while insectivorous birds prevent damage to existing vegetation by consuming pest insects. Losses in these feeding guilds has direct effects on forest health, therefore considering the function of organisms can help inform conservation outcomes

I also have an interest in bioacoustics, and I am currently writing a paper on the drivers of soundscape variation in logged forest.

About me

I enjoy hiking, football, and helping out at the CU. Tragically, I also developed an interest in coding and running since coming to university.