218 Stevens Hall
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND 58108
My research focuses on the behavioral ecology of animals - most of my research has focused on bats, although I am interested in the ecological and evolutionary basis of behavior in all animal groups. This fairly broad description fits my research program, as I am interested in a variety of questions, from the behavioral function of acoustic signals in bats to the migratory ecology of red-winged blackbirds.
One major theme of my research is understanding how behavioral, ecological, and evolutionary factors influence the structure of animal communication signals. My previous research has focused on investigating natural flexibility in bat echolocation and examining how bats adjust their call structure in response to the characteristics of their signaling environment. I am also interested in studying several aspects of mammalian social systems, including assessment of social structure and the behavioral function of social calls exchanged between groupmates. Finally, my students and I conduct studies focusing on ecological questions that are relevant to conservation and human-wildlife interactions, such as documenting the impacts of wind energy on bats. Overall, I am a major proponent of conducting experimental research in a field setting, as such studies provide robust information about the behavior of animals in their natural environment. My students and I conduct research at a variety of locations, including North Dakota, Texas, and Costa Rica, among others.
In Spring 2009, I taught Wildlife Ecology and Management (ZOO 476/676). I will continue to teach this course in future spring semesters. In future fall semesters, I will teach Animal Behavior.