Kathryn E. Sieving

Department Wildlife Ecology & Conservation

University of Florida, Gainesville


B.Sc.  Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology, U California-Davis

Ph.D. Ecology, Ethology, & Evolution, U Illinois-Urbana-Champaign


Publications             How I Work – Interview by Rhett Barker


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, bird behavioral and acoustic ecology, and conservation of birds are encouraged to apply.


Sieving Lab News-Wire


*        Paid Lab/Field Technician job – Spring 2018

*        Volunteer Positions for Spring 2018 – UF undergrads

Sieving-Lab Alumni in the World

·        Dr. Willandia Chaves will begin a post doc with David Wilcove at Princeton University in 2018 - Congrats Willa! 

·        Dr. Jackson Frechette heads up innovative Cambodian livelihood and conservation program for Fauna and Flora International ­- link

·        Dr. Fangyuan Hua earns a Newton International Fellowship, British Royal Society for work on global impacts of land use change - link


What the Sieving lab learned in 2017.

Chaves W, Valle DR, Monroe MC, Wilkie DS, Sieving KE, Sadowsky B.

·        What works to change wild meat consumption: an experiment in the central Amazon, Brazil.  Conservation Letters   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.013

o   People can choose to eat less bushmeat if they are included in community-building events (think… really fun “Cooking Lessons”) where they can freely discuss why and how to change their behavior with friends and neighbors.

Chaves W, Wilkie DS, Monroe C, Sieving KE. 

·        Market access and wild meat consumption in the central Amazon, Brazil. Biological Conservation 212A: 240-248.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.06.013   

o   If hunters can easily sell wild meat at nearby markets, they will (if I needed money, I would too!)

Malone KM, Powell AC, Hua F, Sieving KE. 

·        Bluebirds perceive prey switching by Cooper’s hawks across an urban gradient and adjust reproductive effort. Ecoscience.  https://doi.org/10.1080/11956860.2017.1346449

o   We found that in places where Cooper’s hawks act differently, Eastern bluebirds (prey of hawks) KNOW that the hawks are acting differently! Prey track variations in their predators’ behaviors!

Cornelius C, Awade M, Candia-Gallardo C, Sieving KE, Metzger JP.

·        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 

o   Basically, forest fragment-raised birds are “street-smarter” when navigating hostile agricultural matrix (compared to deep forest birds – they do naïve things on forest edges).

Freeberg TM, Eppert SK, Sieving KE, Lucas JR.

·        Diversity in mixed species groups improves success in a novel feeder test in a wild songbird community. Scientific Reports 7.  https://doi.org/10.1038/srep43014 

o   Diversity is smart! More diverse bird groups solve foraging puzzles more easily than less diverse groups.

Chaves W, Sieving KE, Fletcher RJ.

·        Avian responses to reduced-impact logging in the Southwestern Brazilian Amazon. Forest Ecology and Management.   https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.10.042

o   Reduced impact logging HAS REDUCED IMPACTS on birds. (Good to know!) We also discovered that loggers hate logging where understory bamboo thickets are THICK! (Doh! So would I!).


Sieving Lab - Anchor Project Areas


Animal Information Landscapes