Long-distance migrants navigate using celestial cues, the earth’s magnetic field, and memory of previous migratory trips. They navigate not only to their breeding and wintering ranges, but also to stopover sites where they can replenish energy reserves. In a collaboration with Professor Cristovam Diniz at the Universidade Federal do Pará in Belém, Brazil, we have investigated changes that occur in the hippocampus of semipalmated sandpipers between their stopover in the Bay of Fundy in Canada and their wintering range in coastal areas of northeastern Brazil. We have also compared the hippocampus of semipalmated sandpipers, which make a five day non-stop flight over the Atlantic, with the hippocampus of semipalmated plovers that migrate over land with multiple stopovers. In current research with passerine migrants at AFAR, we are using gene expression to observe neural activity in Cluster N, a brain region that receives magnetic field input.
Henrique, E.P., de Oliveira, M.A., Carvalho Paulo, D., Pereira, P.D.C., Dias, C., de Siqueira, L.S., de Lima, C.M., de Almeida Miranda, D., do Rego, P.S., Araripe, J., de Melo, M.A.D., Diniz, D.G., de Morais Magalhães, N.G., Sherry, D.F., Diniz, C.W.P., Diniz, C.G. (2020). Contrasting migratory journeys and changes in hippocampal astrocyte morphology in shorebirds. European Journal of Neuroscience doi: 10.1111/ejn.14781
de Lima, C.M., Pereira, P.D.C., Henrique, E.P., de Oliveira, M.A., Paulo, D.C., de Siqueira, L.S., Miranda, D.A., de Melo, M.A.D., Magalhães, N.G. De M., Sherry, D.F., Diniz, C.W.P. & Diniz, C.G. (2019). Differential change in hippocampal radial astrocytes and neurogenesis in shorebirds with contrasting migratory routes. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 13, 82, doi: 10.3389/fnana.2019.000082
Carvalho-Paulo, D., Magalhães, N. G. de M., Miranda, D. de A., Diniz, D.G., Henrique, E.P., Moraes, I.A.M., Pereira, P.D.C., de Melo, M.A.D., de Lima, C.M., de Oliveira, M.A., Guerreiro-Diniz, C., Sherry, D.F. & Diniz, C.W.P. (2018). Hippocampal astrocytes in migrating and wintering semipalmated sandpiper Calidris pusilla. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 11, 126, doi: 10.3389/fnana.2017.00126.
Magalhães, N.G.de M., Diniz, C.G., Diniz, D.G., Henrique, E.P., Corrêa Pereira, P.D., Moraes, I.A.M., de Melo, M.A.D., Sherry, D.F., & Diniz, C.W.P. (2017). Hippocampal neurogenesis and volume in migrating and wintering semipalmated sandpipers (Calidris pusilla). PLOS ONE, 12, e0179134.
Diniz, C.G., Magalhães, N.G.M., Sousa, A.A., Santos Filho, C., Diniz, D.G., Lima, C.M., Oliveira, M.A., Paulo, D.C., Pereira, P.D.C., Sherry, D.F. & Picanço-Diniz, C.W. (2016). Microglia and neurons in the hippocampus of migratory sandpipers. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 49, e5005