Gary Ritchison
Foundation Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
Eastern Kentucky University

Teaching Interests | Research Interests | Graduate Students | Journal of Field Ornithology | Avian Biology | ResearchGate | Books

Background I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota (Elysian). I received my Bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University (in Mankato, MN) and, during my undergraduate years, developed an interest
in birds. I also received my Master's degree in biology from Minnesota State. I then went west to Utah State University (Logan, UT) for my Ph.D. After completing my Ph.D., I obtained a faculty position at
Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY, and am still at EKU. I'm married to Tameria Dawn and we have two great kids: Brandon Tyler and Brianna Carol.

Teaching Interests

Ornithology
(BIO 554/754)
Behavioral Ecology 
(BIO 555/755)
Scientific Literature and 
Writing in Biology (BIO 801)
Environmental Science
(BIO 599/799
)
Comparative Vertebrate 
Anatomy (BIO 342)
Human Physiology
(BIO 301)
Conservation of Wildlife
Resources (BIO 317)
Human Physiology
Lab (BIO 378)

Research Interests One of my long-term interests has been avian mating strategies, specifically examining factors that influence mate choice (and choice of extra-pair partners) by female songbirds. I'm also very interested in avian vocal behavior (particularly the functions of song), the ecology and behavior of grassland birds (like Henslow's and Grasshopper sparrows),  raptor behavior and ecology (such as American Kestrels and Sharp-shinned Hawks), and interactions between nestling birds and their parents. These are some of my personal research interests, but I enjoy working with students on just about any aspect of avian biology. To get an idea of what I and my students have been & are working on, take a look at the titles of some recent publications, theses completed by previous advisees, & the titles of projects currently underway (listed below).

Current Graduate Students and their Research Topics:

Scott Arico - Characteristics, use, and possible functions of the songs of female Eastern Bluebirds

Julie Dahl - Vocal responses of Blue Jays to predators that differ in predatory threat

Erin Grabarczyk - Effect of parental alarm calls to different predators on the behavior of nestling Eastern Bluebirds

Caitlin Gussenhoven - Provisioning behavior of male and female White-eyed Vireos

Sabrina McOwen - Use of auditory stimuli by Carolina Chickadees to recognize, and inform conspecifics about, different predators

Louise Peppe - Vocal behavior of Chimney Swifts

Katheryn Watson - Response of male and female American Kestrels to experimentally manipulated nestling hunger levels

Mark Winland - Vocalizations of adult American Kestrels and their possible functions  

     If you would like more information about
Eastern Kentucky University
, our graduate program, my research, working on a Master's degree in my lab, courses
I teach, or anything else, please feel free to contact me at

859-622-1541 

or
gary.ritchison@eku.edu

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