Picture of LUCAS

JEFFREY R. LUCAS

Professor
LILY G-339
Phone: 765-494-8112

Personal Site: Link

My lab focuses on animal communication, both from the perspective of the receiver and from the perspective of the sender of signals.  We are using a technique called Auditory Evoked Potentials to measure the properties of the auditory system.  Our goal is to understand the adaptive significance of the processing of sound with an emphasis on the role that habitat and seasonality plays in signal processing.  We were one of the first labs to demonstrate seasonal patterns in the peripheral processing of sound in birds, and we have expanded our understanding of seasonality in auditory processing in several recent publications.

We are also studying the degree to which complex signals convey "information" among birds. Studies of bird communication, in turn, provide an excellent model for understanding our own language. We have focused most of our work on Carolina chickadees -- birds that have one of the most complex vfocal systems of any species outside of humans. Indeed, chickadees are one of the few animals known to use syntax in their vocal signals. 

 

Education

Ph.D., Florida, 1983

Professional Faculty Research

(Evolutionary ecology; behavioral ecology) Animal Communication, sensory ecology, hearing and call complexity in birds, use of dynamic game theory in animal behavior

Awards

Top Ten Outstanding Teachers in the College of Science for 2005

Elected Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society: 2009

Elected Fellow of AAAS: 2013

Other Activities

  • Gave presentation to the USA Bio Olympiad Students (honors high school) entitled ‘Ethology: the ecology of hearing’, 5 June 2015.

  •  I was interviewed for an ‘Ask a Biologist’ podcast covering the chick-a-dee call system. 23 May 2016.  This is a website constructed by Charles Kazilek, Arizona State Univ. 

  • Gave a talk about “Animal communication and estimates of complexity” to a workshop for STEM high school teachers charged with putting together high school modules that combine the STEM disciplines. 31 May 2016 

  • Animal Communication class included in list of ‘Cool classes’ at Purdue University, Advertised in Purdue’s Alumnus Magazine, Feb 2016

Editorial Board

  • Biology Letters

Grant Review/Study Sections

  • NSF, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, February 6-8, 2006
  • NSF, Animal Behavior Proposal Review Panel, Oct 18-20, 2006
  • NSF, Animal Behavior Proposal Review Panel, Oct 28-30, 2009
  • NSF, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, January 22-24, 2014
  • NSF, Graduate Research Fellowship Program, January 5-8, 2015

Faculty Presentations

  • 2 Apr 2015. Champaign County Audubon Society, Urbana IL. "What we miss when we listen to bird song: the hearing side of avian communication"
  • 23 Apr 2015. Middlefork Chapter of the Illinois Audubon, Danville IL. "What we miss when we listen to bird song: the hearing side of avian communication"
  • 8-9 Dec 2015. NREL Lab -- Eagle Detection and Deterrent Technology: Research Gaps and Solutions Workshop. “Eagle Biology, Physiology, and Population Status: Auditory”
  • 15 Feb 2016. Dept of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. University of Florida, Gainesville FL. “Hearing: the other side of avian communication” 
  • 5 Oct 2016. Dept of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, Purdue University. “Now for something completely different: the extraordinarily complex vocal repertoire of Carolina chickadees

 

Conferences

2016

1-3 Aug 2016. Animal Behavior Society Conference, Univ of Missouri.

“The dimensions of information flow in chickadees and titmice”. Talk presented by JR Lucas.  M Wigren, N Lancaster, S Mugel, K Sieving, T Freeberg

“Assessing the effect of season and habitat on complex call propagation and usage in two Parid species”. Talk presented by Anupriya Karippadath.  TM Freeberg, KE Sieving, JR Lucas

“Space use and habitat as drivers of vocal complexity in chickadees and titmice”. Talk presented by Nolan D Lancaster. SG Mugel, A Karippadath, MA Wigren, KE Sieving, TM Freeberg, JR Lucas

“Linking social complexity and flock structure to vocal communication in chickadees and titmice”. Talk presented by Stephen G Mugel. ND Lancaster, M Wigren,A, Karippadath, TM Freeberg, KE Sieving, JR Lucas 

Professional Faculty Research

(Evolutionary ecology; behavioral ecology) Animal Communication, sensory ecology, hearing and call complexity in birds, use of dynamic game theory in animal behavior

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