Sep: Ray is humbled to receive the College of Arts and Sciences Innovation in Teaching Award for his use of small-group active learning in Ornithology!
We are thrilled to welcome new lab member Miles Buddy (freshman)!
Jul: Lauren Schaale gave an oral presentation and Marae Lindquist presented a poster at the American Ornithological Society meeting in Anchorage, Alaska!
Jun: Lauren Schaale sucessfully defended her MS thesis entitled "Viewing habitat through another lens: Bird nest site selection and productivity across the beach thermal landscape" and was hired as a Coastal Scientist at Bald Head Island Conservancy! Congratulations Lauren!
Sara Evans (undergraduate) started a new project using SongEvo!
May: Juan Zuluaga (undergraduate student) was awarded a prestigous UNCW SURCA fellowship to study the migratory behaviors of seaside sparrows that breed in North Carolina! Congratulations Juan! Then we started the fieldwork!
Rebekkah LaBlue successfully defended her honors thesis entitled "Sweating the speckles: Darker least tern eggshells become hotter under direct solar radiation." Congratulations Rebekkah!
Mar: New software package: SongEvo version 1.0.0 is now available on CRAN!
Lauren, Evan, and Marae presented their research at the North Carolina Waterbirds Conservation Planning Meeting!
Jan–Apr: First field season studying the winter biology of seaside and saltmarsh sparrows!
Jan: Lauren (MS student) presented a poster about her research on the thermal landscape at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) meeting in Tampa, FL!
We are thrilled to welcome 2 new lab members: Tara Clancy and Ryan Walsh (undergraduate researchers).
Dec: We started a new project on the winter biology of seaside and saltmarsh sparrows! This project involves 2 graduate students (Marae and Evan), several undergraduate students, and a partnership with NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
Nov: Rebekkah (honors student) presented a poster about her research on egg coloration at the UNCW SURCA session!
You can now download SongEvo, our new software package that simulates bird song evolution!
Oct: New paper: Ambient noise can drive cultural evolution of bird song.
Sep: Rebekkah LaBlue (honors student) described her research in a blog post for Audubon NC.
Juan Zuluaga (undergrad) launched the Seahawk Migration Station!
Aug: We are thrilled to welcome 4 new lab members: Marae Lindquist (MS student), and Jose Francisco, Madeline Miller, and Juan Zuluaga (undergraduate researchers).
Jul: Lauren Schaale (MS student) described her research in a blog post for Audubon NC.
May: Rebekkah LaBlue received a SURCA Fellowship and CSURF award for her research on the evolution of eggshell coloration in least terns!
Robert Snowden defended an excellent MS thesis on the thermal biology of incubating least terns!
New paper: Methods for sparrow husbandry.
Feb: New paper: Darwin's finch bills aid in heat balance.
Jun: New paper: Bird diversity in actively and naturally restored tropical forests.
Apr: Began studying nesting behavior of least terns!
New paper: Birds response depends on signal attributes.
Feb: Ray and Dr. Carolina Priester started using anatomical imaging in their classes! See the coverage from UNC.
Nov: New paper: Habitat-specific divergence of air conditioning structures in bird bills. Be sure to check out the video!
Aug: Ray and colleagues presented a symposium on heat stress in birds at the North American Ornithogical Conference in Washington, DC.
Jun: New paper: The winter biology of the Atlantic song sparrow.
Apr: New paper: Bird songs across the soundscape.
Jan: Danner Lab established.
1. Thermal ecology of birds: How do birds survive and breed at high temperatures?
Least tern panting on a hot summer day at Wrightsville Beach. Photo by Robert Snowden.
2. Population biology of coastal birds of conservations concern: How many birds are there, what are their needs, and what threats do they face?
3. Bird song evolution: How does bird song evolve?
Download SongEvo, our new software package that simulates bird song evolution!
Spectrogram of rufous collared sparrow song.
4. Anatomical description through 3d modeling.
This research focuses on birds and a variety of other species, including humans!
Dr. Danner's courses at UNCW:
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (Biology 315, most spring semesters)
Ornithology (Biology 456, most fall semesters)
Animal Migration (Biology 495, most semesters)
Active learning with high school students:
Surviving the Heat: Beach bird thermal biology. A full-day active learning experience with UNCW Ocean's 17 summer camp.
Surviving the Heat: Beach bird thermal biology, with Ashley High School.
A bird’s eye view of the thermal landscape, a half-day learning experience for UNCW’s OCEANS summer camp for high school students.
High school students, Lauren Schaale (MS student), and Dr. Danner develop hypotheses before heading into the field to collect data.
Contact Dr. Danner to adapt a learning experience for your class!
Marae Lindquist (PhD student): Thesis: Marsh sparrow winter biology.
Evan Buckland (MS student): Thesis: Marsh sparrow winter biology.
Rebekkah LaBlue (Undergraduate honors student): Thesis: Darker least tern eggshells become hotter under direct solar radiation.
Madeline Miller (Undergraduate honors student): Thesis: Exploration of the human brain with anatomical imaging.
Juan Zuluaga (Undergraduate honors student): Thesis: The migratory behavior of seaside sparrows in North Carolina.
Jose Francisco (Research assistant): Projects: A little bit of everything.
Miles Buddy (Research assistant): Projects: A little bit of everything.
Ryan Walsh (Directed Independent Study student): Project: The effects of sand color and grain size on the beach thermal landscape.
Sara Evans (Undergraduate researcher): Project: Modeling song evolution with SongEvo.
Lauren Schaale (MS, June 2019): MS Thesis: Viewing habitat through another lens: Bird nest site selection and productivity across the beach thermal landscape. Current position: Coastal Scientist at Bald Head Island Conservancy.
Robert Snowden (MS, May 2018): MS Thesis: Least tern thermoregulation in response to environmental temperature and human disturbance. Current position: Seasonal Ornithologist at Audubon Starr Ranch
Tara Clancy (Directed Independent Study student): Project: Marsh sparrow winter biology.
Daniel Hertzberg (BS, May 2017): Undergraduate Honor's Thesis: The effects of food availability on bird feather melanin concentration.
Tyler Dodson (BS, May 2017): Directed Independent Study project: A study of the human brain ventricles using anatomical images (pdf).
Johnathan DeBetta (BS, May 2016): Directed Independent Study project: Applied learning of vertebrate anatomy using CT-scans and MRIs.
Prospective graduate students: Dr. Danner accepts MS and PhD students when space and funding are available. If you are interested in conducting a MS thesis or PhD dissertation with Dr. Danner, please email a cover letter, resume, and GRE scores, and see the graduate program webpage.
Prospective undergraduate students: Dr. Danner accepts honors thesis and DIS students when space is available in the lab. If you are interested, please send Dr. Danner an email with your interests and rationale for the DIS.
Donate a bird nest: If you would like to donate a bird nest for Dr. Danner's Ornithology students to study, please email Dr. Danner!
Donate financially: If you would like to support our students, research, and outreach financially, please donate to the Ornithology Fund online. If you'd like to discuss specific donations, please call or email Dr. Danner (910-962-7895, dannerR@uncw.edu). This money goes directly to student activities. Even a little money can go a long way!