Lauryn Benedict

Gregory DeKrey

Assistant Professor

  • Postdoctoral training: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, CA
  • Ph.D.: Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
  • B.A.: Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Contact information


Courses taught | Research interests | Publications |Recently presented papers

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Courses taught

  • BIO 102 (Success in Biology)
  • BIO 111 (Survey of Organismal Biology)
  • BIO 362 (Principles of Animal Behavior)
  • BIO 438/538 (Ornithology)
  • BIO 560 (Behavioral Ecology)
  • BIO 563 (Animal Communication)
  • BIO 591 (Biology Roundtable)

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Research interests

I study animal communication and social behavior. My research focuses on bird song as a model system for understanding how signals evolve in nature. To understand song function I examine how individuals use vocal signals within particular environmental and social contexts. I study larger patterns of song evolution by measuring how songs vary through time and space, both within and between species. Current projects examine the function and evolution of song and duets among Colorado wren species, New World sparrows, and Old World warblers. Research in the lab combines field observation, population-monitoring, and sound recording analyses within a phylogenetic context.

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Representative Publications

  • Benedict L., Rose A., Warning N. (2013) Small song repertoires and high song type sharing among Canyon Wrens. Condor. 115:874-881.
  • Dahlin C., Benedict L., (2013) Angry birds need not apply: A perspective on the flexible form and multi-functionality of avian vocal duets. Ethology. 119:1-10.
  • Benedict L, Rose A, Warning N (2012) Canyon wrens alter their songs in response to territorial challenges. Animal Behaviour. 84:1463-1467
  • Benedict L, Bowie RCK (2012) Rattling cisticola song features and variability across sub-Saharan Africa. Journal of Zoology. 287:96-103.
  • Benedict L (2010) California towhee duets are multi-functional signals for multiple receivers. Behaviour. 147:953-978.
  • Benedict L, Bowie RCK (2009) Macrogeographical variation in the song of a widely distributed African warbler. Biology Letters. 5:484-487.
  • Benedict L, McEntee JP (2009) Context, structural variability and individuality of California towhee (Pipilo crissalis) duets. Ethology. 115:77-86.
  • Benedict L (2008) Unusually high levels of extrapair paternity in a duetting species with long-term pair bonds. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 62:938-988.
  • Benedict L (2008) Occurrence and life history correlates of vocal duetting in North American passerines. Journal of Avian Biology. 39: 57-65.
  • Benedict L (2007) Offspring discrimination without recognition: California towhee responses to chick distress calls. Condor. 109: 79-87.

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Recently presented papers and posters

Invited talks

  • Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming (2014) Laramie, WY.
  • Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University (2011) Fort Collins, CO.
  • Department of Biology, University of the Pacific (2010) Stockton, CA.
  • Symposium on the Evolution of Cooperation at AAAS-PD (2009) San Francisco, CA.

Contributed talks and poster presentations

  • Animal behavior Society Meetings (2013) Boulder, CO
  • Fifth North American Ornithological Congress (2012) Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Animal Behavior Society Meetings (2012) Albuquerque, NM
  • International Ethological Congress / Animal Behavior Society (2010) Bloomington, IN
  • Guild of Rocky Mountain Ecologists and Evolutionary Biologists (GREEBs) (2010) Pingree Park, CO
  • Evolution 2009 (2009) Moscow, ID
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