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Behavioral Ecology

Loren Hayes, Ph.D.

 Loren Hayes


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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 and neural mechanisms influencing rodent sociality and mating systems. In Chile, I study the sociality of Octodon degus, a social rodent endemic to central-north Chile. In Taiwan, I study the mating systems of the Taiwan vole (Microtus kikuchii). Both studies have been supported by the National Science Foundation. 

Recent Grants:

National Science Foundation (#0853719): US-Chile IRES: Intraspecific variation in the social behavior of Chilean rodents - Ecology, mechanism, and fitness. Funding: $149,985.

Recent Publications:

Ebensperger, L.A., Tapia, D., Ramirez-Estrada, J., Leon, C., Soto-Gamboa, M. & Hayes, L.D.  In Press.  Fecal cortisol levels predict breeding but not survival of females in short-lived rodent, Octodon degus. General and Comparative Endocrinology

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. Impact factor: 1.952. 

Wey, T., Burger, J.R., Ebensperger, L.A. & Hayes, L.D. In review. Sex, seasonality and social networks: An analysis of Octodon degus sociality. Animal Behaviour. Status: Final decision pending major revisions. Impact factor: 3.493.

Ebensperger, L. A., J. Ramirez-Estrada, C. Leon, R. A. Castro, L. Ortiz-Tolhuysen, R. Sobrero, V. Quirici, J. R. Burger, Mr. Soto-Gamboa, and L. D. Hayes. 2011. Sociality, glucocorticoids and direct fitness in the communally rearing rodent, Octodon degus. Hormones and Behavior 60: 346-352.

Ebensperger, L. A., D. S. Riera, and L. D. Hayes. 2012. Direct fitness of group living mammals varies with breeding strategy, climate and fitness estimates. Journal of Animal Ecology (in press, online first).

Ebensperger, L.A., R. Sobrero, V. Quirici, R. A. Castro, L. Ortiz Tolhuysen, F. Vargas, J. R. Burger, R. Quispe, C. P. Villavicencio, R. A. Vasquez, and L. D. Hayes. Ecological drivers of group living in two populations of the communally rearing rodent, Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66:261-274.