I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I am also an Associate Researcher at P. Universidad Catolica de Chile and an adjunct at Universidad Austral de Chile. My dissertation research with Dr. Nancy Solomon at Miami University (Ohio) focused on the reproductive benefits of alloparental care and mechanisms of parental and alloparental care of offspring by female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). My current research program focuses on the evolutionary significance of rodent sociality and mating systems. In Chile, I study the sociality of Octodon degus, a social rodent endemic to central-north Chile. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation. I am also participating in a National Evolutionary Synthesis Center project aimed at determining how neural and physiological mechanisms influence animal sociality and cooperative behavior.
2013-2016: National Science Foundation (#1261026). US-Chile IRES: Intraspecific variation and genetic mechanisms of animal sociality (co-PIs, Margaret Kovach & Cecelia Wigal).
2012-2013: Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. The Chile-Chattanooga Connection: Improving STEM education for K-12 and University Students.
2009-2013: National Science Foundation (#0853719): US-Chile IRES: Intraspecific variation in the social behavior of Chilean rodents - Ecology, mechanism, and fitness.
PublicationsBauer, C.M., Hayes, L.D., Ebensperger, L.A. & Romero, L.M. In review. Seasonal variation in the degu (Octodon degus) endocrine stress response. Submitted to General and Comparative Endocrinology.
NESCent Working Group on Integrative Models of Vertebrate Sociality: Evolution, Mechanisms and Emergent Properties. Hofmann, H.A., Beery, A.K., Couzin, I.D., Blumstein, D.T., Earley, R.L., Goodson, J.L., Hayes, L.D., Hurd, P.L., Lacey, E.A., Martins, E.P., Phelps, S.M., Solomon, N.G., Taborsky, M., Young, L.J., & Rubenstein, D.R. In review. Tinbergen’s dream: a framework to study the evolutionary neuroethology of sociality. Submitted to TREE.
Ebensperger, L.A., Leon, C., Ramirez-Estrada, J., Hayes, L.D., Nova, E., Salazar, F., Bhattacharjee, J. & Becker, M.I. In review. Communal rearing enhances immunocompetence but not current reproductive successof adult female degus (Octodon degus). Submitted to Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology.
Hayes, L.D. & L.A. Ebensperger. In preparation. An integrative view to social behavior in caviomorph rodents. Pgs. XX-XX in Sociobiology of caviomorph rodents: an integrative view (eds: Luis A Ebensperger & Loren Hayes).
Ebensperger, L.A. & Hayes, L.D. In preparation. Causes and consequences of group-living. Pgs. XX-XX in Sociobiology of caviomorph rodents: an integrative view (eds: Luis A Ebensperger & Loren Hayes).
Ebensperger, L.A., Tapia, D., Ramirez-Estrada, J., Leon, C., Soto-Gamboa, M. & Hayes, L.D. 2013. Fecal cortisol levels predict breeding but not survival of females in short-lived rodent, Octodon degus. General and Comparative Endocrinology. 186: 164-171.
Wey, T., Burger, J.R., Ebensperger, L.A. & Hayes, L.D. 2013. Sex, seasonality and social networks: An analysis of Octodon degus sociality. Animal Behaviour. 85: 1407-1414.
Bauer, C.M., Skaff, N.K., Bernard, A.B., Trevino, J.M., Ho, J.M., Romero, L.M., Ebensperger, L.A. & Hayes, L.D. 2013. Habitat type influences endocrine stress response in the degu (Octodon degus). General and Comparative Endocrinology. 186, 136-144.
Hayes, L.D. 2012. Current Understanding and Future Work on Maternal Effects in Mammals (D. Maestripieri & J.M. Mateo, University of Chicago Press). Journal of Mammalian Evolution. DOI 10.1007/s10914-012-9209-y.
Ebensperger, L.A., Rivera, D.S. & Hayes, L.D. 2012. Direct fitness of group living mammals varies with breeding strategy, climate and fitness estimates. Journal of Animal Ecology 81: 1013-1023.
Burger, J.R., Chesh, A.S., Munoz, P., Fredes, F., Ebensperger, L.A. & Hayes, L.D. 2012. Sociality, exotic ectoparasites, and fitness in the plural breeding rodent Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 66: 57-66.
Ebensperger, L.A., Sobrero, R., Quirici, V., Castro, R.A., Ortiz Tolhuysen, L., Vargas, F., Burger, J.R., Quispe, R., Villavicencio, C.P., Vasquez, R.A., & Hayes, L.D. 2012. Ecological drivers of group living in two populations of the communally rearing rodent, Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 66: 261-274.
Ebensperger, L.A., Ramirez-Estrada, J., Leon, C., Castro, R.A., Ortiz-Tolhuysen, L., Sobrero, R., Quirici, V., Burger, J.R., Soto-Gamboa, M., & Hayes, L.D. 2011. Sociality, glucocorticoids and direct fitness in the communally rearing rodent, Octodon degus. Hormones & Behavior 60: 346-352.