Songbird Neuroethology Laboratory
|Christopher B. Sturdy||Teaching||Research & Facilities||Publications||Research Opportunities|
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My research stems from my enjoyment of songbirds and their intricate networks of vocal communication. My PhD research is focused on the implications of the acoustic adaptation hypothesis, i.e., the idea that bird vocalizations are designed for optimal transmission in the habitats where each species lives. Specifically, my research is focused on 1) how road noise affects songbird communication, and 2) how forest structure affects the transmission of bird vocalizations. I am also interested in the ability of some songbirds to adapt or modify vocalizations in order to optimize transmission in variable external conditions, such as fluctuating noise levels or modifications to forest structure. Much of my research is focused on the vocal system of the black-capped chickadee, although I have also worked with several other migratory and resident songbird species in Alberta. My field work is conducted primarily in the river valley and ravines in the City of Edmonton and includes vocal recording, vegetative quantification, and abundance surveys. I have also collected data in Elk Island National Park and conducted some research in the laboratory. The goal of my research is to enhance our general understanding of avian vocal communication and to provide relevant information for the management of songbird biodiversity near roadways.
I am co-advised by Dr. Colleen Cassady St. Clair in the Biological Sciences and Dr. Christopher Sturdy in the Department of Psychology. My research is funded jointly by both advisors, and through funds from: Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation; Canadian Circumpolar Institute; and the Friends of Elk Island Society.
Proppe, D. 2007. (In press). Building Eco-man; Integrating technology and environmental education with Lego robots. Proceedings of the 34th Annual North American Association of Environmental Educators Conference. p. 1-4
Proppe, D. 1998. Association of the Threespot Damselfish (Stegastes planifrons) in Ridge Mortality of Diploria strigosa in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Texas A&M library: Special Collections. p. 1-22
Proppe, D. 2005. Building Eco-man; Integrating technology and environmental education with Lego robots. North American Association for Environmental Education (Albuquerque, NM; 34th Annual Meeting).
Proppe, D. 2005. Possible functions of the “primary” and “sustained” songs of male Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum). Kentucky Society of Natural History (Louisville, KY; Annual Meeting).
Proppe, D. 2005. Possible functions of the “primary” and “sustained” songs of male Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum). Kentucky Ornithological Society (Louisville, KY; Annual Meeting).
Proppe, D. 2005. Our Feathered Friends: An integrated unit for teachings birds in the middle school classroom. National Science Teachers Association (Dallas, TX; 53th National Conference on Science Education).
Proppe, D. 2004. Our Feathered Friends: An integrated unit for teachings birds in the middle school classroom. Kentucky Science Teachers Association (Louisville, KY; Annual Meeting).
© Christopher B. Sturdy,
Last updated - 23-08-2010