News in Brief (Feb. 16)

    **Finches follow fashion, professor finds**

    p. A new study done by College biology professor John Swaddle found that zebra finches “follow fashion.” The study found that although female fi nches have their own innate preferences about what they find attractive in a mate, they change their preferences based on what other females find attractive.

    p. Despite the fact that zebra fi nches choose partners based on looks, they are loyal birds that typically mate for life. Swaddle said press that he hopes the study will lead to increased research about the way “social mechanisms may play a role in mate selection.” He also hopes that it will lead to research about whether or not the social preferences effect exists in species other than zebra finches.

    **Forum discusses jobs and international students**

    The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance announced at a forum this week that 4,200 jobs are unfi lled in the Williamsburg area. The numbers will be formally published in an upcoming report. According to an article in the Daily Press, 52 percent of these openings are in the tourism industry.

    p. The forum, held at the Holiday Inn on Bypass Road, featured a discussion with local employers about international students who contribute to the growing labor pool. According to Chamber officials, about 2,500 to 3,000 come to work in Williamsburg. They are often hired by large employers such as Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.


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