Evolution of avian recognition systems
Research in the Hauber lab (@cowbirdlab on Twitter) focuses on the evolution of recognition systems. Shifting gears between behavioral, developmental, physiological, and molecular tools, we are studying the social and genetic consequences of species recognition in avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos, cowbirds, and whydahs, and their hosts. Obligate brood parasitism in birds provides an exciting model system for the evolution of social behaviors because, unlike 99% of bird species, they lay their eggs into nests of other species and are reared by foster parents. Several other projects in the lab tap into national and international collaborations throughout the world of birds, including the unique and often endangered sea- and shorebird fauna of New Zealand, as well as mammals, spiders, and other organisms from around the globe.
Cuthill I, Allen W, Arbuckle K, Caspers B, Chaplin G, Hauber ME, Hill GE, Jablonski N, Jiggins C, Kelber A, Mappes J, Marshall J, Merrill R, Osorio D, Prum R, Roberts N, Roulin A, Rowland H, Sherratt T, Skelhorn J, Speed M, Stevens M, Stoddard MC, Stuart-Fox D, Talas L, Tibbetts E, Caro (in press) The Biology of Color. Science.
Stoddard MC, Hauber ME (in press) Colour, vision, and coevolution in avian brood parasitism. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B 372: 20160339?.
Hanley D, Grim T, Igic B, Samas P, Lopez AV, Shawkey MD, Hauber ME (2017) Egg discrimination along a gradient of natural variation in eggshell coloration. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20162592.
Mendelson TC, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Pence CH, Rodgriguez RL, Safran RJ, Stern CA, Stevens JR (2016) Cognitive phenotypes and the evolution of animal decisions. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 11: 850–859?.
d’Alba L, Rafael M, Hauber ME, Shawkey MD (2016) The evolution of eggshell cuticle in relation to nesting ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20160687.
Louder MIM, Voss HU, Manna TJ, Carryl SS, London SE, Balakrishnan CN, Hauber ME (2016) Shared neural substrates for song discrimination in parental and parasitic songbirds. Neuroscience Letters 622: 49-54. ? Hebets EA, Barron AB, Balakrishnan C, Hauber ME, Mason P, Hoke K (2016) A systems approach to animal signaling. Proceeding of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20152889.
Hanley D, Grim T, Cassey P, Hauber ME (2015) Not so colourful after all: eggshell pigments constrain avian eggshell colour space. Biology Letters 11: 20150087. Read about it in Audubon Magazine.
Igic B, Nunez V, Voss HU, Croston R, Aidala Z, Lopez AV, Van Tatenhove A, Holford ME, Shawkey MD, Hauber ME (2015) Using 3D printed eggs to examine the egg-rejection behaviour of wild birds. PeerJ 3:e965. Read about it in Science and listen about it on NPR. Igic B, Fecheyr-Lippens D, Xiao M, Chan A, Hanley D, Brennan PR, Grim T, Waterhouse GI, Hauber ME,Shawkey MD (2015) A nanostructural basis for gloss of avian eggshells. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 12: 20141210. Read about it in the NY Times. Barron AB, Hebets EA, Cleland TA, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Stevens J (2015) Embracing multiple definitions of learning. Trends in Neurosciences 38: 405-407.
Hauber ME (2014) The Book of Eggs. University of Chicago Press. Read about it in The Guardian. Colombelli-Negrel D, Hauber ME, Kleindorfer SM (2014) Prenatal learning in an Australian songbird: habituation and individual discrimination in superb fairy-wren embryos. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 281: 20141154. Read about it in Science and the Smithsonian Magazine. Hauber ME, Woolley SMN, Cassey P, Theunissen FE (2013) Experience dependence of neural responses to different classes of male songs in the primary auditory forebrain of female songbirds. Behavioural Brain Research 243: 184-190. Colombelli-Negrel D, Hauber ME, Robertson J, Sulloway FJ, Hoi H, Griggio M, Evans C, Kleindorfer S (2012) Embryonic learning of vocal passwords in superb fairy-wrens reveals intruder cuckoo nestlings.Current Biology 22: 2155-2160. Read about it in the NY Times . Highlighted as a top-10 research discovery by ABC.