About

Name

Virginia Abernathy

Title

Assistant Professor of Biology

Department/School

School of Mathematics & Natural Science

Email

vabernathy@rio.edu

Building

Kidd Math Science Center

Phone

(740) 245-7240

Location

Rio Grande Main Campus

Office Hours

Office Hours

varies by term, posted at office door

Education

Education

Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, 2017. Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.

M.S. in Biology, 2012. Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL.

B.S. in Biology and B.M. in Music Composition, 2009. Ohio Northern University, Ada, OH

Research Information

Research Interests

I am a behavioral ecologist and ornithologist. My main research interests center around understanding coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites (birds that lay eggs in other species’ nests) and their hosts (the foster parents that raise the brood parasite chicks). I have studied four different brood-parasitic systems in three different countries (USA, Australia and Bangladesh).

Other areas I would enjoy exploring include research questions related to the function and evolution of bird egg color, including studying egg mimicry, camouflage, and visual systems of birds (how bird eggs actually appear to birds). Additionally, I am interested in sexual selection in birds and insects, vocal communication in birds, specifically, eavesdropping of predator alarm calls, vocal mimicry, and the functions and evolution of female song.

Publications

Publications

Abernathy, V.E. (2018). Book review: Where Song Began: Australia’s Birds and How They Changed the World. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 120:458-459.

Abernathy, V.E., J. Troscianko and N.E. Langmore (2017). Egg mimicry by the pacific koel: mimicry of one host facilitates exploitation of other hosts with similar egg types. Journal of Avian Biology 48:1414-1424.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2017). The first stages of coevolution between a brood parasite and its new host: are naïve hosts defenseless? Emu 117:114-129.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2017). Rates of coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts, Chapter 2. M. Soler (Ed.). Avian Brood Parasitism: Behaviour, Ecology, Evolution and Coevolution. Springer.

Peer, B.D. and Abernathy, V.E. (2017). Brown-headed Cowbirds, Chapter 5. G.M. Linz, M.L. Avery, and R.A. Dolbeer (Eds.). Ecology and Management of Blackbirds (Icteridae) in the United States. Taylor and Francis Group.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2016). Observations of the breeding behaviour of the pacific koel in relation to its newest host. Canberra Bird Notes 41:124-134.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2016). Reduced ultraviolet reflectance does not affect egg rejection by northern cardinals. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128:334-342.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2015). Mechanisms of egg recognition in brown-headed cowbird hosts: the role of ultraviolet reflectance. Animal Behaviour 109:73-79.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2014). Intraclutch variation in egg appearance of brown-headed cowbird hosts. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 131:467-475.

Presentations & Lectures

Presentations

Abernathy, V., J. Troscianko and N. Langmore. 2017 Egg mimicry by the pacific koel: mimicry of one host facilitates exploitation of other hosts with similar egg types. American Ornithologists’ Society Conference 2017, Lansing, MI

Abernathy, V. 2017. Coevolution in action between a brood parasite and a new host. Ohio Northern University Department Seminar Speaker, Feb. 6, 2017, Ada, OH

Abernathy, V. 2017. Troubles of a brood parasite. Ohio Northern University Guest Lecturer for Ornithology, Feb. 6, 2017, Ada, OH

Abernathy, V., L. Johnson and N. Langmore. 2016. Coevolution in action: defences against brood parasitism in a new host of the eastern koel. The North American Ornithological Conference 2016, Washington, DC

Abernathy, V., L. Johnson and N. Langmore. 2016. Coevolution in action: defences against brood parasitism in a new host of the eastern koel. The Australasian Society for the Study of Animal Behaviour Conference 2016, Katoomba, NSW

Abernathy, V. and N. Langmore. 2015. Coevolution in action: defences against brood parasitism in new and old hosts of the eastern koel. Meeting of the Canberra Ornithologists Group, Canberra, ACT

Abernathy, V. and N. Langmore. 2015. Coevolution in action: defences against brood parasitism in new and old hosts of the eastern koel. Behaviour Conference 2015, Cairns, QLD

Abernathy, V. and N. Langmore. 2015. Coevolution in action: defences against brood parasitism in new and old hosts of the eastern koel. Joint meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union and the Cooper Ornithological Society, Norman, OK

Abernathy, V. 2012. Mechanisms of egg recognition in brown-headed cowbird hosts: the role of ultraviolet reflectance AND The loon project. Meeting of the Ohio Bird Banding Association, Caesar’s Creek State Park, Waynesville, OH.

Presented workshop in R Statistical Program for biology faculty at Ohio Northern University.

Abernathy, V. and B. Peer. 2011. Mechanisms of egg recognition in brown-headed cowbird hosts: the role of ultraviolet reflectance. Meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, Jacksonville, FL.

Presented talk on graduate thesis research at an Audubon meeting, Macomb, IL Chapter.

Poster: Abernathy, V., J. Mager III, C. Walcott, and W. Piper. 2009. Male common loons vary their yodeling rate with time of year and stage of breeding season. Joint meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society and American Field Ornithologists, Pittsburg, PA

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