I am interested in the evolution of animal cognition, communication systems, and mate choice. I am particularly fascinated by the individual variation in cognitive abilities in birds and how these abilities impact their mating and reproductive success.
The field season for the SSoCo (Swallow Social Cognition) was a success! We tested cognition and monitored swallows at 21 sites this summer. We certainly learned a lot about anti-predator behaviors in barn swallows.
Testing the use of social information by a female at one of our largest sites (up to 25 breeding pairs). Left: undergraduate superstar Ellen Scherner. Right: me trying to look casual. Ellen was observing the female behavior at the nest in response to alarm call playbacks, while I recorded the behaviors using the Animal Behavior Pro App. Photo: Sage Madden
My research on cognition and mate choice in budgies is featured in Las Cruces Sun News!
Marcelo's great convergent research with hummingbirds also featured in the article.
I am very excited to join the Safran lab at CU Boulder as an NSF postdoctoral fellow to investigate the impacts of social breeding on the evolution of cognition in barn swallows
Report barn swallow nests today and help with this research!