Profile photo of Dr. Loren Hayes
Dr. Loren Hayes
Associate Professor
Biology, Geology and Environmental Science
Ph.D. - Miami University (Ohio)
  102 Collins Annex

Hayes Lab Website

Chile-Chattanooga Connection


Research Interests

I use comparative and empirical approaches to answer questions about the causes and consequences of, as well as underlying mechanisms of, mammalian group-living. The main thrust of my research program is an 11 year study of Octodon degus sociality in Chile. My research involves collaborators in Chile, France, and the United States.


Grants/Projects Since 2009

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.


Publications Since 2009

*denotes student author

Davis, G.*, Vasquez, R., Poulin, E., Ebensperger, L.A., & Hayes, L.D. In press. Kin and social network structure in two populations of Octodon degus. Journal of Mammalogy. Impact Factor: 1.84

Valomy, M., Hayes, L.D. & Schradin, C. In press. Social organization in Eulipotyphla: evidence for a social shrew. Biology Letters. Impact Factor: 3.67

Bauer, C.M., Hayes, L.D., Ebensperger, L.A. Ramírez-Estrada, J., León, C., Davis, G.T. & Romero. L.M. 2015. Maternal stress and plural breeding with communal care affect development of the endocrine stress response in a wild rodent. Hormones and Behavior 75, 18-24. Impact factor 4.632

Ebensperger, L.A., Leon, C., Ramirez-Estrada, J., Hayes, L.D., Nova, E., Salazar, F., Bhattacharjee, J.  & Becker, M.I. 2015. Immunocompetence of breeding females is sensitive to cortisol levels but not to communal rearing in the degu (Octodon degus). Physiology & Behavior. 140, 61-70 Impact factor 3.033

Taborsky, M., Hofmann, H., Beery, A.K., Blumstein, D.T., Hayes, L.D., Lacey, E.A., Martins, E.P., Phelps, S.M., Solomon, N.G., & Rubenstein, D.R. 2015. Taxon matters: promoting integrative studies of social behavior. Trends in Neuroscience 38, 189-191. Impact factor: 12.902

Strom, M.*, Carroll, K.A.*, Davis, G.*, Hultman, W.*, Kosycarz, T.*, & Hayes, L.D. 2015. Finding ‘Garrett’: An evolutionary language development game. American Biology Teacher, 77, 608-612. Impact Factor: 0.369

NESCent Working Group on Integrative Models of Vertebrate Sociality: Evolution, Mechanisms and Emergent Properties. Hofmann, H.A., Beery, A.K., Blumstein, D.T., Couzin, I.D., Earley, R.L, Hayes, L.D., Hurd, P.L., Lacey, E.A., Phelps, S., Solomon, N.G., Taborsky, M., Young, L.J., & Rubenstein, D.R. 2015. An evolutionary framework for studying mechanisms of social behavior. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 29, 581-589. Impact factor: 15.389

Ebensperger, L.A., Villegas, A., Abades, S., & Hayes, L.D. 2014. Mean but not variance in ecological conditions modulate fitness effects of group-living and communal rearing. Behavioral Ecology 25, 862-870. Impact factor: 3.216

Bauer*, C.M., Hayes, L.D., Ebensperger, L.A. & Romero, L.M. 2014. Seasonal variation in the degu (Octodon degus) endocrine stress response. General and Comparative Endocrinology 197: 26-32. Impact factor: 2.823

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. Impact factor: 2.823

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. Impact factor: 3.068

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. Impact factor: 2.823

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. Impact factor: 4.841

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. Impact factor: 2.752

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., 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. Impact factor: 2.752

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. Impact factor: 3.735

 Quirici, V.*, Faugeron, S., Hayes, L.D., & Ebensperger, L.A. 2011. The influence of group size on natal dispersal in the communally rearing and semifossorial rodent, Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology 65: 787-798. Impact factor: 2.752

Triant, D. & Hayes, L.D. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA applications in animal behaviour research: A cautionary note regarding mitochondrial transfers to the nucleus (numts). Animal Behaviour 82: 601-606. Impact factor: 3.068

Hayes, L.D., Burger, J.R.*, Soto-Gamboa, M. Sobrero, R*. & Ebensperger, L.A. 2011. Towards an integrative model of sociality in caviomorph rodents (Special Feature: L.D. Hayes & L.A. Ebensperger, coordinators). Journal of Mammalogy  92: 65-77. Impact factor: 1.614

Hayes, L.D. & Ebensperger, L.A. 2011. An introduction to caviomorph rodent social systems (Special Feature: Hayes & Ebensperger, coordinators). Journal of Mammalogy Special Issue (L.D. Hayes & L.A. Ebensperger, coordinators). 92: 1-2. Impact factor: 1.614

Ebensperger, L.A., Chesh, A.S.*, Castro, R.A., Ortiz Tolhuysen, L., Quirici, V., Burger, J.R., Sobrero, R. & Hayes, L.D. 2011. Limitations linked to burrow systems needed for breeding do not predict group-living in the communally rearing rodent, Octodon degus (Special Feature: L.D. Hayes& L.A. Ebensperger, coordinators). Journal of Mammalogy. 92: 21-30. Impact factor: 1.614                                                 

Quirici, V.*, Faugeron, S., Hayes, L.D. & Ebensperger, L.A. 2011. Absence of kin structure in a population of the group living rodent Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology. 22: 248-254. Impact factor: 3.08                                                                                            

 Quirici, V.*, Faugeron, S., Hayes, L.D. & Ebensperger, L.A. 2011. The influence of group size on natal dispersal in the communally rearing and semifossorial rodent, Octodon degus. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 65: 787-798. Impact factor: 2.565

The Santiago Working Group on Integrative Sociality Theory: Daniel T. Blumstein, Luis A. Ebensperger, Loren D. Hayes, Rodrigo Vasquez, Todd Ahern*, Joseph Robert Burger*, Adam Dolezal*, Andy Dosmann*, Gabriela González-Mariscal, Breanna Harris*, Emilio Herrera, Eileen Lacey, Jill Mateo, Lisa McGraw, Daniel Olazabal, Marilyn Ramenofsky, Dustin Rubenstein, Samuel Sakhai*, Wendy Saltzman, Cristina Sainz-Borgo*, Mauricio Soto-Gamboa, Monica Stewart*, Tina Wey*, John Wingfield & Larry Young. 2010. Integrating mechanism with ecological models of social variation. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. 4:34. doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2010.00034 Note: Co-corresponding author with Dan Blumstein. Impact factor: 4.8

Quirici, V.*, Castro, R.A., Ortiz Toyhuysen, L., Chesh, A.S.*, Burger, J.R.*, Miranda, E., Cortés, A., Hayes, L.D., & Ebensperger, L.A. 2010. Seasonal variation in the ranges areas of the diurnal rodent Octodon degus. Journal of Mammalogy. 91: 458-466. Impact factor: 1.614

Hayes, L.D., Chesh, A.S.*, Castro, R.B., Ortiz Tolhuysen, L., Burger, J.R.*, Bhattacharjee, J., & Ebensperger, L.A. 2009. Fitness consequences of group-living in Octodon degus, a plural breeder with communal care. Animal Behaviour 78: 131-139.  Impact factor: 2.89

Quan, Y.*, McManes, M.*, Lacey, E.A., M., Ebensperger, L.A., & Hayes, L.D. 2009. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci from Octodon degus. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 999-1001. Impact factor: 1.251

Soto-Gamboa, M., Gonzalez, S.*, Hayes, L.D., & Ebensperger, L.A. 2009. Validation of cortisol radioimmunoassay determination from faecal samples in the hystricognathan rodent, Octodon degus. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology 311A: 496-503. Impact factor: 1.608

Ebensperger, L.A. Chesh, A.S.*, Castro, R., Ortiz, L., Burger, J.R.*, & Hayes, L.D. 2009. Factors influencing the social dynamics of juvenile degus, Octodon degus. Ethology 115: 540-554. Impact factor: 2.019

Burger, J.R.*, Chesh, A.S.*, Castro, R.A., Ortiz Tolhuysen, L., Torre, I., Ebensperger, L.A., & Hayes, L.D. 2009. The influence of trap type on evaluating population structure of the semifossorial and social rodent Octodon degus. Acta Theriologica 54: 311-320. Impact factor: <1.0