"Welcome!"

Welcome! Our lab works at the interface of ecology, behavior, evolution, and conservation biology. We focus on how the ecological and social environments that animals experience shape their behavior and ecology, and vice-versa. Active research in South America, Australasia, and the Gulf of Mexico includes plant-animal interactions, mating systems and signal evolution, movement ecology, and endangered species. Our lab takes a socially engaged approach that combines research with capacity building, training, and education in the biodiversity hotspots where we work.

Spring 2016

Posted by on Oct 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring 2016

Spring has come yet again, which means a few things here in New Orleans – Jazz Fest and Karubian lab website updates!

Huge congrats to Jenny Hazlehurst for defending her dissertation and publishing one of her chapters – Nectar robbing impacts pollinator behavior but not plant reproduction – in Oikos (Hazlehurst and Karubian 2016)! Jenny is now continuing on as a post-doc at UC Davis.

Sam Lantz and Jordan published the first chapter of Sam’s thesis in Auk (Lantz and Karubian 2016), focusing on adventitious molt in fairywrens. This paper was highlighted on the Audubon blog. In the summer she headed back to Australia to lead the NSF IRES crew.

Luke Browne along with Ecuadorian colleagues and Jordan, traveled to Colombia for the World Palm Symposium to present work on the effects of habitat loss on palm tree diversity in Ecuador. He spent the rest of the summer completing another field season in Ecuador. While spending the fall and spring semesters in Washington DC / College Park, Maryland, he presented on conservation and research in the Chocó rainforests of Ecuador to the AAAS Biodiversity Affinity group in Washington DC.

Erik Enbody advanced to candidacy in the fall and received grants from the National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant, Animal Behavior Society, and the Tulane Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to continue his field work on white-shouldered fairy wrens in Papua New Guinea, where he spent his spring semester. Check out his blog from the field for more details and cool pictures!

Brock Geary advanced to candidacy in February and was awarded the Tulane Gunning Memorial Student Research Award, as well as winning a grant from the AOU to study brown pelican foraging behavior. He presented at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Research Symposium and published 2 papers from his masters work: Movements and survival of juvenile reddish egrets Egretta rufescens on the Gulf of Mexico coast (Geary et al. 2015) and Measurements of Adult and Hatch-year Reddish Egrets (Kozcur etal. 2015).

Zoë Díaz-Martin received the Lewis and Clark Award for Field Exploration to do field research in Ecuador. She finished her coursework and decided on a dissertation topic, which includes studying patterns and drivers of genetic variation and differentiation in populations of Oenocarpus bataua on a landscape scale. This summer she will be staying on campus to complete a pilot study.

Meredith Williams and Emma Saltzberg received a grant from the Newcomb College Institute and Newcomb-Tulane College to study the northern Mockingbird in New Orleans with visiting MS student Stephanie McClelland.

Jordan, former post-doc Kym, and colleagues published a new paper on the genetic consequences of seed dispersal to sleeping trees by white-bellied spider monkeys (Karubian et al. 2015). Jordan and Sam Lantz also published original research on flamingos in the journal Zoo Biology with lead authorship by Nathan Frumkin, a former Tulane undergrad and 4+1 student. Nathan gathered the data for this article while taking the course ‘Experimental Animal Behavior’ at Tulane.

The Lab received funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ‘Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act’ to purchase rainforest habitat in northwest Ecuador together with our in-country partners FCAT.

We are also very happy to welcome Sarah Khalil and John Jones as new PhD students to the lab, who will be starting in Fall 2016!

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Spring 2015

Posted by on Jul 11, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring 2015

Another academic year has come and gone, and the lab is spread far and wide for the annual summer diaspora. Lab members are conducting research in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Papua New Guinea, Peru, and points beyond while others continue their research closer to home in the city of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico’s barrier islands. Since the last update, the lab received 2 NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grants (DDIG), 1 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF), and been recommended for 1 NSF International Research Experience for Students (IRES) grant and 1 NSF EAGER grant. We have published papers in Heredity (Browne et al. 2015), Journal of Avian Biology (Durães Ribeiro et al. 2015), and Journal of Field Ornithology (Walter et al. 2014). Details are as follows:

Jordan and family are heading to Ecuador in May to teach EBIO 3780 ’Tropical Field Biology & Conservation’, a field course in Ecuador. Jordan will be presenting at the PALMS conference in Montenegro Colombia in June, and the Ecological Society of America conference in Baltimore MD in August.

Jenny received an NSF DDIG to expand her work in nectar robbery and hummingbird pollination and an EEB Departmental Fellowship to help with writing up in the Fall. This summer, she will be radio tracking hummingbirds in Peru.

Sam received the 2014/15 Best Teaching Assistant award for Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology as well as the prestigious Tulane Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship in the School of Science & Engineering for the 2015/16 year. She will be in Australia this summer, gathering data on fairy-wren condition and habitat use outside Brisbane.

Luke, former post-doc Kym Ottewell, and Jordan published the paper ‘The short-term genetic consequences of habitat loss and fragmentation for the neotropical palm Oenocarpus bataua’ in Heredity (Browne et al. 2015). Luke was also awarded DDIG funding from the NSF to continue work on the impacts of habitat fragmentation on gene flow in the Oenocarpus system. He will be helping to teach EBIO 3780, presenting at the PALMS conference in Montenegro Colombia in June, and conducting research in Ecuador and in the lab this summer.

Erik received a grant from the American Museum of Natural History for his work on the evolution of sexual dimorphism in white-shouldered fairy-wrens, and presented a poster at the American Ornithologists Union (AOU) on his work. He is heading to Papua New Guinea for another field season.

Brock received grants from the Animal Behavior Society, the Wilson Ornithological Society, and the Louisiana Sea Grant for his research on brown pelican foraging ecology, and also presented a poster at AOU. He will be tracking GPS-equipped pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico this summer.

Zoe completed her first year of graduate school in high style, and received a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to boot! She will be helping to teach EBIO 3780, participating in an OTS course in Costa Rica, and conducting pilot field research in Ecuador this summer.

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