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Dr. Fernandez-Juricic to give College of Science Research Award Lecture - April 29, 2013 - 3:00 pm - LWSN 1142


Dr. Esteban Fernandez-Juricic, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

What birds see, and what they make out of it?

How perception shapes behavior is a fundamental question given the variability in the sensory systems of vertebrates living in different environmental conditions. Among vertebrates, birds can be considered "visual machines". Birds have lateral vision besides binocular vision and they can see more colors and process images faster than humans can. I will explain how the configuration of the avian visual system (e.g., visual acuity, color vision, etc.) influences their anti-predator behavior. This research has implications for understanding how predators and prey coevolved sensory adaptations to enhance detection. Additionally, this knowledge can be applied in the development of novel methods to attract and repel birds, which has practical implications for reducing the frequency of collisions between birds and airplanes (e.g., bird-strikes).

Bio: Dr. Fernández-Juricic got his undergraduate degree at Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina. He received his Ph.D. in animal ecology at Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), and the University of Minnesota (USA). Before his current position, he was an Assistant Professor at California State University Long Beach. He has published over 100 scientific papers and co-authored a book (A Primer of Conservation Behavior). He has been associate editor of the Journal of Applied Ecology and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, and an editor of Animal Behaviour. His research interests include behavioral ecology, sensory ecology, and conservation biology.

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