Summer Brown Bag Lecture Series: Catbird Research with Dr. Dana Moseley
Wednesday, June 2 | 12 PM – 1 PM Ernst Tree Terrace at the Frances Plecker Education center
Dr. Moseley is a sensory ecologist studying how animal communication is impacted by a noisy environment. Her research focuses on the gray catbird, a migratory species that breeds locally and can be found in backyards, the national forest, and even in very urban areas like the National Mall of Washington D.C. Catbirds sing to attract mates and to defend territories, but their song is often overlapped by human-made noise. This anthropogenic noise is mostly low pitched, such that the lower pitches of birdsong are overlapped and masked by noise. Many species of birds have been shown to sing higher pitches in urban environments compared to their rural counterparts. Dr. Moseley and her lab of JMU research students records the catbird songs along an urban gradient to measure the noise level and the differences in birdsong and breeding behavior, as well as the avian communities in these varying habitats.