Lincoln SaviLincoln Savi, a master’s student of biology, was a finalist in a national competition for his video on the changing song of a tropical wren.

Biology student is a top finalist in national video contest

Masters candidate Lincoln Savi is delighted to make it to the top 15 of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s (NSERC) Science Action! contest with his short video on the rufous-and-white wren.

Hundreds of young researchers from across Canada competed in the YouTube contest, which Savi says combined his passions for making videos and communicating science to a general audience.

After completing a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education from UWindsor in 2016, Savi joined biology professor Dan Mennill’s lab to study songbirds in the Guanacaste conservation area in Costa Rica.

“I’m studying how the rufous-and-white wren songs change over time, and that includes how they are performed over time, in order to better understand the complex communication of birds,” says Savi. “My video focused specifically on which songs these small tropical songbirds choose to sing, and why they choose to sing these songs.”

Dr. Mennill has recorded birds in the same conservation area for 10 years, enabling Savi to observe how singing changes over the lifetime of the same birds. He says this may influence how birds identify a better mate choice or an older bird.

“I was very proud before the voting even began,” Mennill says of the project. “It was an articulate video with great bird sounds in it and Lincoln tells a story that summarizes his area of interest in just one minute. He has a unique skill that not everybody has to relay science to a general audience.”

Savi says he plans to continue to make videos of his research. He will receive $2,500 as a top finalist. Watch his entry: