Picture1Kathryn E. Sieving

Dept. Wildlife Ecology & Conservation

University of Florida @ Gainesville


B.Sc.  Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology, UC Davis

Ph.D. Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, UI Urbana-Champaign


Research Gate Profile        Pubs-Listing



Sieving Lab Research Interests


My research program focuses on conserving forest biodiversity, especially birds, in disturbed, fragmented, urbanized, and otherwise human-dominated landscapes in historically forested biomes.  Conceptually, my lab’s work is rooted in community, behavioral, and landscape ecology. Functionally, the over-riding theme in my lab that applies to all of my students and myself is ‘effective conservation science via rigorous research design’. My graduate, undergraduate, and post-doctoral scholars’ interests take them in a variety of directions (see below) as the philosophy of mentoring in my lab is that ‘it’s your degree and your future - so take the reins’! The one common theme is that my students must learn and deploy rigorous and appropriate research designs for the question at issue.


Currently, I am working on a major project that holistically addresses the causes and consequences of the extraordinary vocal complexity of chickadees and titmice. With Todd Freeberg (lead PI: UT-Knoxville) and Jeff Lucas (Purdue) we are testing three major hypotheses for the causes (social, habitat, and predation risk complexity) of variation in vocal complexity. My focus is also on understanding what effects this parid vocal production, packed with useful social information for other small birds, has on population, community interactions, and behavior of eavesdropping animals. Conservation-related questions are of high priority, namely determining how normal information exchanges are disrupted and what the consequences are. This project involves experimental (field and aviary), comparative and descriptive approaches.  Students with interests in soundscapes, small bird behavioral ecology, acoustic ecology and conservation of birds are encouraged to apply to my lab. 


Sieving Lab News-Wire


Summer field course - May 1-5, 2017

Ancient Bird Language for Modern Naturalists

(2 credits WIS 4/6934)




Why does Pishing work to attract birds?

Wikipedia explains using our article!!



Incoming Lab Members for Fall 2017

·       Peter Monte. MSc. Urban ecology of bird communities.

·       Jin Bai. MSc. Avian communication and bioacoustics.

·       Mary Mack Gray. MSc. Regional genetics of brown-headed nuthatch populations.

·       Sarah Obaid. PhD. Ecological acoustics and avian community and regional monitoring program development.


Recent Publications - Hot off (or in) Press!

·        1Malone KM, 2Powell AC, Hua F, Sieving KE.  Accepted. Bluebirds perceive prey switching by Cooper’s hawks across an urban gradient and adjust reproductive effort. Ecoscience.

·        3Cornelius C, Awade M, Candia-Gallardo C, Sieving KE, Metzger JP. 2017. Habitat fragmentation Drives Inter-Population Variation in Dispersal Behavior in a Neotropical Rainforest Bird.  Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 15:3-9; http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2017.02.002.

·        Chaves W, Sieving KE, Fletcher RJ. 2017. Avian responses to reduced-impact logging in the Southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Forest Ecology and Management   doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.10.042

·        Hua F, Yong DL, Janra MN, Fitri LM, Prawiradilaga D, Sieving KE.  2016. Functional traits determine heterospecific use of risk-related social information in forest birds of tropical Southeast Asia.  Ecology and Evolution  DOI: 10.1002/ece3.2545

·        Hua F, Sieving KE.  2016. Understory avifauna exhibits altered mobbing behavior in tropical forest degraded by selective logging.  Oecologia,  DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3695-1 SM

·        Grade A, Sieving KE. 2016. When the birds go unheard: Highway noise disrupts information transfer between bird species. Biology Letters 12:  20160113. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2016.0113


Media Play

·        Aaron Grade’s paper was written up in the popular media [link]

o   http://phys.org/news/2016-05-highway-noise-deters-birds.html

o   http://growingfl.com/news/2016/05/uf-ifas-study-highway-noise-deters-communication-between-birds-2016-05-12/

o   Even our beloved UF newspaper the Alligator picked it up! See third article .. http://www.alligator.org/news/article_fafd31fc-2166-11e6-aeed-a728b8c9bc00.html


·        Work on parid vocal ecology (parid infoscapes)

·        Mentioned in New York (Science) Times

o   When Birds Squawk, Other Species Seem to Listen 

·        Article is focus of Science Times Rhymes rap video!

o   Bird Call Rap Video


Recent Public and Professional Presentations

Aug. 2016. “Factors influencing detection and use of nuclear species’ signals by eavesdropping heterospecifics.”  K. Sieving.  Invited talk in Symposium with Eben Goodale and Harrison Jones; Integrative approaches to understanding mixed-species groups: towards community conservation.  Ecosummit 2016; Montpellier, France.

Aug. 2016. “Effects of anthropogenic land-use change on avian mixed-species flocks: A review” H.H. Jones. Invited talk in Symposium with Eben Goodale and Katie Sieving; Integrative approaches to understanding mixed-species groups: towards community conservation.  Ecosummit 2016; Montpellier, France.

July 2016.  Bluebird phenotypic responses to prey switching by Cooper’s Hawks across an urban gradient.”  K. Sieving(*1), K. Malone(1), A. Powell(1), F. Hua(2). (1)University of Florida, (2)Princeton University. Animal Behavior Society, Columbia MO.

July 2016.Linking Social Complexity and Flock Structure to Vocal Communication in Chickadees and Titmice.”  S. Mugel(*1), N. Lancaster(1), M. Wigren(1), A. Karippadath(1), T. Freeberg(2), K. Sieving(3), J. Lucas(1) (1)Purdue University, (2)University of Tennessee, (3) University of Florida. Animal Behavior Society, Columbia MO.

July 2016.  Space Use and Habitat as Drivers of Vocal Complexity in Chickadees and Titmice”.  N. Lancaster(*1), S. Mugel(1), A. Karippadath(1), M.  Wigren(1), K. Sieving(3), T. Freeburg(2), J. Lucas(1).  (1)Purdue University, (2)University of Tennessee, (3) University of Florida.  Animal Behavior Society, Columbia MO.

July 2016. “Assessing the effect of season and habitat on complex call propagation and usage in two Parid species.” A. Karippadath(*1), T. Freeberg(2), K. Sieving(3), J. Lucas(1). (1) Purdue University, (2)University of Tennessee, (3)University of Florida. Animal Behavior Society, Columbia MO.

July 2016. Poster.Assessment of distance-from-source effects on spectral classification of bird calls in natural environments”.  J. Davis(*1), K. Sieving(2), J. Lucas(3), T. Freeberg(1). (1)University of Tennessee, (2)University of Florida, (3)Purdue University.  Animal Behavior Society, Columbia MO.

Feb. 2017. “Listening to Bird Language: The Real Twitter-Feed!” Opening talk.  Southwest Florida Birding Seminar, Lee County Parks and Rec.

Mar. 2016: “Songbird perception of predator threat tracks predator hunting behavior”. Biology Department, Purdue University.



Sieving Lab - Anchor Project Areas


Information Landscapes – The Unseen World of Animal Landscape Ecology