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Marie-Claire Koschowitz

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Evolutionary Biologist

I’m an evolutionary biologist and work mostly with big reptiles, like crocs, birds and dinosaurs. I’m one of those annoying people who always knew what they wanted to be, even in kindergarden I’d excitedly peep out “Dinosaur Scientist!”. I went on to do a biology undergrad in Germany, at the University of Göttingen, with a thesis focus on the evolution of feathers along the bird dinosaur transition. Large scale patterns of evolution (species changing over time and how they go about it) always fascinated me, with a particular focus on animal physiology and comparative anatomy.

My current research deals with reptilian reproduction, laying eggs vs. life-bearing, and the consequences of changes from one way of reproduction to the other. I am keen to incorporate the fossil record, because it is a fantastic way to bolster current biological research with additional data points from deep time, that offer valuable insights into long term evolutionary changes.

Wednesday 13th Mar 2019, 09.00am

Why do birds lay eggs?

Most new-born mammals and some reptiles emerge from their mothers through the usual channels. But baby birds are stuck cracking open eggshells – but why?

In this week’s Oxford Sparks Big Questions podcast we are visiting Marie-Claire Koschowitz, evolutionary biologist and asking: Why do birds lay eggs?

Warning: parents if you don’t want to have the birds and bees conversation you...

Why do birds lay eggs?