212 Schaefer Hall
B.Sc.H., Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Postdoctoral work, Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Click here to see my C.V.
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Evolutionary Biologist & Behavioral Ecologist ~ Associate Professor
Joined St. Mary's College of Maryland: 2002
Courses I teach regularly at St. Mary’s include: Animal Behavior, Molecular Evolution, Tropical Biology, Ecology & Evolution, and Principles of Biology Lab.
My primary research interests are in animal behavior and evolutionary biology. In particular, I’m interested in acoustic communication and the evolution of animal signals. Songbirds provide excellent subjects for these sorts of studies, so much of my previous research has focused on them.
My graduate research, under the direction of Haven Wiley, focused on communication and cultural transmission in the Venezuelan stripe-backed wren. This early experience gave me a keen interest in bioacoustics, a love for tropical biology, and some nasty internal parasites. Later, in my postdoctoral research with Scott Lanyon, I focused on reconstructing the evolution of complex birdsong in a group of tropical New World blackbirds called the oropendolas and caciques. This work let me pursue my interests in behavioral evolution while at the same time mastering some important new skills in molecular biology and comparative phylogenetics.
My current research combines detailed observations of animal behavior in the field with analyses in the lab to test hypotheses about the evolution of animal communication. Besides addressing interesting biological questions, this approach provides great opportunities to involve St. Mary’s students in an integrative research program that spans a range of investigative methods, from field biology to molecular techniques. Current interests include the evolution of bird song and plumage patterns through sexual selection, the evolution of female bird song (described here), and the evolution of echolocation in birds (described here). I like doing other sorts of field work too. I have worked for several years on an NSF-funded collaboration with Kevin Omland studying vocal behavior and evolution in the New World orioles.
I also teach a summer course at the University of Michigan Biological Station.
Some Recent Publications: (Click here for all Publications)
Price, J. J., and D. H. Yuan. 2011. Song-type sharing and matching in a bird with very large song repertoires, the tropical mockingbird. Behaviour 148: 673-689. (PDF)
Price, J. J., M. K. Clapp and K. E. Omland. 2011. Where have all the trees gone? The declining use of phylogenies in animal behaviour journals. Animal Behaviour 81: 667-670. (PDF)
Price, J. J. 2010. Why it makes sense to hunt: conserving the environment with a gun. River Gazette 10(3): 18. (PDF)
Price, J. J., and L. M. Whalen. 2009. Plumage evolution in the oropendolas and caciques: different divergence rates in polygynous and monogamous taxa. Evolution 63: 2985-2998. (PDF)
Price, J. J. 2009. Evolution and life history correlates of female song in the New World blackbirds. Behavioral Ecology 20: 967-977. (PDF)
Price, J. J., S. M. Lanyon and K. E. Omland. 2009. Losses of female song with changes from tropical to temperate breeding in the New World blackbirds. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 276: 1971-1980. (PDF)
Price, J. J., L. Yunes-Jiménez, M. Osorio-Beristain, K. E. Omland and T. G. Murphy. 2008. Sex-role reversal in song? Females sing more frequently than males in the Streak-backed Oriole. Condor 110: 387-392. (PDF)
Reichard, D. G., and J. J. Price. 2008. Species recognition in a vocal mimic: repetition pattern not the only cue used by Northern Mockingbirds in discriminating songs of conspecifics and Brown Thrashers. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120: 717-724. (PDF)
Price, J. J., N. R. Friedman, and K. E. Omland. 2007. Song and plumage evolution in the New World orioles (Icterus) show similar lability and convergence in patterns. Evolution 61: 850-863 (PDF) (Featured on the COVER).
Cramer, E. R. A., and J. J. Price. 2007. Red-winged blackbirds Ageliaus phoeniceus respond differently to song types with different performance levels. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 122-127. (PDF)