Research: My research centers on the ecology and evolution of communication in songbirds, and on social behaviour such as mate choice. My students and I are interested in such questions as honest signaling of mate quality and the causes and consequences of mixed mating strategies in socially monogamous species. Recent studies have examined the structure and function of song repertoires in black-capped chickadees and cerulean warblers, environmental influences on song transmission in wood warblers, and age-related vocal and visual signaling in lazuli buntings. Current projects include investigating how social and competitive ability influence mating options of male and female chickadees, and testing the 'hidden lek' hypothesis in least flycatchers. We also use stable isotope analyses to study migration behaviour in long-distance migratory species like American redstarts.
Students are encouraged to combine field and lab approaches in their work. Excellent facilities are provided for field work (Queen's Biology Station), for molecular ecology analyses (molecular ecology lab directed by Dr. Peter Boag), and captive studies (aviaries, Biosciences Complex).
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Some Recent Publications: