Barbara Ballentine

Barbara Ballentine in the field

 

Associate Professor

Ph: 828-227-2518
Fax: 828-227-7066
Email: beballentine@wcu.edu
Office: Natural Sciences 113

Research Interests:

Broadly, I am interested in the evolutionary mechanisms underlying phenotypic variation and population divergence in animals, primarily birds. I use highly integrative and experimental approaches with both field and laboratory studies to specifically addresses 1) how sexual selection favors reliable mating signals, 2) how natural selection constrains the expression of mating signals, and 3) mechanisms of phenotypic (morphological and behavioral) variation between populations.

Education:
PhD Duke University 2006
MS Auburn University 2000
BS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1997

Courses Taught:
Vertebrate Zoology (Biol 374 Lecture and Lab)
Biological Diversity (Biol 141 Lecture and Lab)

Publications:
Ballentine, B., K. W. Gkoo, and R. Greenberg. 2013. Mechanisms of song divergence between swamp sparrow subspecies. Behaviour 150:1165.

Ballentine, B., B. Horton, E. T. Brown, and R. Greenberg. 2013. Divergent selection on bill morphology contributes to non-random mating between swamp sparrow subspecies. Animal Behaviour 86:467-473.

Searcy, W. A., R. C. Anderson, B. Ballentine, and S. Nowicki. 2013. Limits to reliability in avian aggressive signals. Behaviour 150:1129.

Angelier, F, B. Ballentine, R. L. Holberton, P. P. Marra, and R. Greenberg. 2011 What drives variation in the corticosterone stress response between subspecies? A common garden experiment of Swamp sparrows ( Melospiza georgiana). Journal of Evolutionary Biology: 24:1274-1283

Ballentine, B. and R. Greenberg. 2010.Common garden experiment reveals genetic control of phenotypic divergence between swamp sparrow subspecies that lack divergence in neutral genotypes. PLoS One 5:e10229

Ballentine, B. 2009. The ability to perform physically challenging songs predicts age and size in male swamps sparrows ( Melospiza georgiana). Animal Behaviour 77:973-978

Ballentine, B., W. Searcy and S. Nowicki. 2008. Reliable aggressive signaling in swamp sparrows. Animal Behaviour. 75:693-703

Ballentine, B. 2006. Natural selection influences the evolution of a signal used in mate choice. Evolution. 60: 1936-1944

Estep, L. K., H. Mays Jr., A. J. Keyser, B. Ballentine, and G. E. Hill. 2005. The effects of color and density on mate-guarding and extra-pair paternity in blue grosbeaks. Journal of Canadian Zoology. 83:1143-1148

Ballentine, B., S. Nowicki and J. Hyman. 2004. Vocal performance influences female response to male bird song: an experimental test. Behavioral Ecology 15:163-168

Ballentine, B. and G. E. Hill. 2003. Female mate-choice in relation to structural plumage coloration in blue grosbeaks. The Condor. 105:593-598.

Ballentine, B., A. Badyaev and G. E. Hill. 2003. Changes in song complexity correspond to periods of female fertility in blue grosbeaks. Ethology. 109: 55-66.


Invited Presentations:

Song divergence in swamp sparrow subspecies: implications for speciation. October 2012. College of Science and Mathematics, Dean's Seminar Series, University of West Georgia. Carrollton, GA

Song divergence in swamp sparrow subspecies: implications for speciation. October 2012. Biology Department Seminar. College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

Investigating mechanisms of song divergence in swamp sparrow subspecies. June 2012. Animal Behavior Society Meeting, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Divergent mating preferences for song. November 2011. Florida Atlantic University, Biology Department

Female mating preferences for songs as a reproductive isolating mechanism between swamp sparrow subspecies. December 2010. Emory University, The program of Neuroscience and Animal Behavior and The Department of Psychology

Morphological adaptation in coastal plain swamp sparrows: A case for ecological speciation with implications for conservation. April 2009. University of Maryland Baltimore County, Biology Department

Morphological adaptation in coastal plain swamp sparrows: A case for ecological speciation with implications for conservation. February 2009. University of West Georgia, Biology Department

Morphological adaptation in coastal plain swamp sparrows: A case for ecological speciation with implications for conservation. November 2008. University of Delaware, Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Departmental Seminar

Production constraints on song production in swamp sparrows: implications for the function of song in mate choice. February 2008. Western Carolina University, Biology Departmental Seminar

Production constraints on song production in swamp sparrows: implications for the function of song in mate choice. May 2007. Blandy Experimental Farm and State Arboretum of Virginia

Production constraints on song production in swamp sparrows: implications for the function of song in mate choice. February 2006. Smithsonian Institution Department of Conservation and Science


Meeting presentations:

Mechanisms of reproductive isolation: Divergence of song across a hybrid zone of swamp sparrow subspecies. June 2012, Presenter: Brittany Sewell, undergraduate. The Animal Behavior Society, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Female mating preferences for songs as a reproductive isolating mechanism between swamp sparrow subspecies. August 2010. The Animal Behavior Society, Williamsburg, VA

Genetically based morphological differentiation in the absence of divergent neutral markers in subspecies of the swamp sparrow: a common garden experiment. August 2008. The American Ornithological Union Meeting, Portland, Oregon

Vocal performance as an indicator of male quality in swamp sparrows. July 2004. International Society of Behavioral Ecology Meeting, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Vocal performance and female response. July, 2003. Animal Behavior Society, Boise State University

Variation in vocal performance influences female choice in swamp sparrows ( Melospiza georgiana). July, 2002. International Society of Behavioral Ecology Meeting, Université du Québec à Montréal

Changes in song complexity correspond to periods of female fertility. July 2001The Animal Behavior Society Meeting, University of Oregon.

Female mate-choice in relation to structural plumage coloration in blue grosbeaks. June 2000. The American Ornithologists Union, St. Johns University, Newfoundland

Song as a signal of quality in blue grosbeaks. The Animal Behavior Society Meeting, Morehouse College. June 1999. The Animal Behavior Society Meeting, Bucknell University.



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