Two new papers by Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin has just published two new papers on the food caching choices of Canada jays. One examines jays’ preference to cache in some tree species, particularly spruce, and not others.  A second paper shows how jays offered experimental diets balance the energy and protein content of the foods they cache and consume.

Martin, R. J., Fuirst M. & Sherry, D. F. (2022). Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) identity and exploit coniferous cache locations using visual cues. Ethology, doi: 10.1111/eth.13273.

Martin, R. J., Dick, M. F. & Sherry, D. F. (2022). Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis) balance protein and energy targets simultaneously in both consumed and cached food. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A-Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 266, 111142.

John W. Arnold to Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin has received the John W. Arnold Award from the Department of Biology, Western University, for his PhD thesis Food Caching Decisions in Canada Jays (Perisoreus canadensis). Congratulations Jeff!

Canada jays do not “plan for the future”

In a new paper, Jeff Martin and colleagues find that Canada jays do not plan for the future in the way described for California scrub-jays. In contrast to scrub-jays, Canada jays did not store more food in a location where they would later be food deprived but instead, stored more food in the location where they received food. See Jeff’s paper for discussion of why results with these two food-storing corvids may differ.

Martin, R.J., Martin, G.K., Roberts, W.A. & Sherry, D. F.  (2021). No evidence for future planning in Canada Jays (Perisoreus canadensis). Biology Letters, 17, 20210504.

One of Jeff’s Canada jays on the cover of Biology Letters. Image courtesy of Sherri and Brock Fenton.

New paper by Jeff Martin

In a new paper, Jeff shows that Canada jays have a number of strategies for dealing with cache robbers. In the presence of a model blue jay – a common robber of caches in the wild – Canada jays space their caches more widely, reduce the number of caches they make, and place caches where they can’t be seen by the potential robber.

Martin, R.J. & Sherry, D.F. (2021). Canada jays, Perisoreus canadensis, use multiple context-dependent cache protection strategies. Animal Behaviour, 180, 329-335.

Congratulations Dr. Chris Course

Congratulations to Chris Course on the successful defense of his PhD thesis Investigating social dynamics using automated radiotracking of winter flocks of Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus).  In his thesis research, Chris used a local array of Motus automated radiotracking towers to develop a picture of the winter social behaviour of tagged chickadees, including flock switching, daily onset of activity, and responses to winter storms.


Jeff Martin and Caroline Strang on Spit and Twitches

Catch the recent appearances of Avian Cognition Lab Ph.D. alumni Jeff Martin and Caroline Strang on Spit and Twitches, a wonderful podcast for anyone interested in animal cognition.  Host Dave Brodbeck talks to Jeff (Episode 21) and Caroline (Episode 22) about their research, surviving graduate school, life as a postdoc, choosing a career in science, and more.  Why “spit and twitches”?  Because according to Robert Rescorla, ‘. . . one of my most respected professors, Frank Irwin, asked me how I could be interested in Pavlovian conditioning, a process that he characterized as being “all spit and twitches” and of little general psychological interest’.

New paper with Brazilian colleagues

A new paper with colleagues at the Universidade Federal do Pará and the Instituto Federal de Educação Ciência e Tecnologia do Pará– including Cristovam W.P. Diniz, Nara Magalhães, Cristovam Guerreiro Diniz, and others – has just appeared in Frontiers in Immunology.  The paper surveys morpological responses of microglia to immune challenges, using comparative data on rodents, bats, primates, and birds.

Carvalho-Paulo, D., Bento Torres Neto, J., Filho, C. S., de Oliveira, C. G., de Sousa, A. A., dos Reis, R. R., dos Santos, Z. A., de Lima, C. M., de Oliveira, M. A., Said, N. M., Freitas, S. F., Sosthenes, M. C. K., Gomes, G. F., Henrique, E. P., Pereira, P. D. C., de Siqueira, L. S., de Melo, M. A. D., Guerreiro Diniz, C., Magalhães, N. G. d. M., Diniz, J. A. P., Vasconcelos, P. F. d. C., Diniz, D. G., Anthony, D. C., Sherry, D. F., Brites, D. and Picanço Diniz, C. W. (2021). Microglial morphology across distantly related species: phylogenetic, environmental and age influences on microglia reactivity and surveillance states. Frontiers in Immunology, 12. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.683026

Congratulations Dr. Jeff Martin

Congratulations to Jeff Martin on his successful Ph.D. defense on June 11, 2021.  Jeff’s thesis, Food caching decisions in Canada jays (Perisoreus canadensis), examined jays’ choice of tree species in which to cache, their choice of macronutrients for caching, how jays avoid cache pilferers, and whether jays cache to prevent predictable short-term food shortages. Jeff’s next position: a postdoc in Biology at McGill University with Professor Mélanie Guigueno.