Professor & Associate Director
School of Biological Sciences
Natural and Health Sciences
Ross Hall, Room 2546
501 20th Street, Greeley, CO 80639
- Postdoctoral training: Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, CA
- Ph.D.: Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA
- B.A.: Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Research/Areas of Interest
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 male and female vocalizations 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.
Selected research publications
- Benedict L, Covy N*, Love P**, Stier S* (2020). Human presence outweighs non-anthropogenic factors
as a driver of avian nest parasite loads. Journal of Ornithology
- Wilkins MR, Odom KJ, Benedict L, Safran R (2020). Analysis of female song provides insight into the evolution of
sex differences in a widely studied songbird. Animal Behaviour 168:69-82.
- Cicero C, Mason NA, Benedict L, Rising JD (2020). Phylogenetic conservatism of behavioral traits in New World Sparrows
(Aves: Passerellidae). PeerJ, 8, e9249
- Benedict L, Najar N (2019) Are commonly used metrics of bird song complexity concordant? Auk: Ornithological Advances 136:1-11
- Covy N, Keeley WH, Benedict L (2019) Rock climbing activity and physical habitat attributes impact avian community
diversity in cliff environments. PLOS One 14: e0209557
- Najar N, Benedict L (2018) The relationship between latitude, migration and the evolution of bird song
complexity. Ibis 161:1-12.
- Odom KJ, Benedict L (2018). A call to document female bird songs: applications for diverse fields. Auk: Ornithological Advances 135: 314-325.
- Benedict L, Warning N (2017). Rock Wrens preferentially use song types that improve long distance
signal transmission during natural singing bouts. Journal of Avian Biology 48: 1254–1262.
- Najar N, Benedict L (2015) Female Song in New World Wood-Warblers (Parulidae). Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3:139.
- Warning N., Benedict L. (2015) Paving the way: Functional nest architecture of the rock wren. Auk: Ornithological Advances. 132:288-299.
- 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 (2010) California towhee duets are multi-functional signals for multiple receivers.
- Benedict L, Bowie RCK (2009) Macrogeographical variation in the song of a widely distributed
African warbler. Biology Letters. 5:484-487.
- Benedict L (2008) Occurrence and life history correlates of vocal duetting in North American
passerines. Journal of Avian Biology. 39: 57-65.
Find a complete list of research publications here.
Recent research presentations
- North American Ornithological Conference (2020) Virtual
- American Ornithology Meeting (2019) Anchorage, AK
- University of Windsor (2018) Windsor, ON, Canada
- American Ornithology (2018) Tucson, AZ
- Department of Psychology, Cornell University (2018) Ithaca, NY
- Animal Behavior Society Meetings (2017) Toronto, ON, Canada
- North American Ornithological Conference (2016) Washington DC
- Department of Integrative Biology, University of Colorado Denver (2015) Denver, CO
- International Bioacoustics Congress (2015) Murnau, Germany
- Fort Collins Natural Areas Program (2015) Fort Collins, CO
- Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming (2014) Laramie, WY