469 Morrill Hall
Office: (217) 300 7127
Mail: 515 Morrill Hall, 505 S. Goodwin Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
PhD 2002: Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University
BSc 1996: Organismal Biology, Yale University
DSc 2010: Biological Sciences, University of Auckland
MSc 2011: Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington
Ornithology (IB 461)
Biology of Sex (IB 210)
I am a professor and behavioral ecologist, conservation scientist, and comparative psychologist, focusing on the evolution of recognition systems, and using land- and seabirds to address questions about how individuals recognize themselves, their mates, their young, their prey, and their predators. Shifting gears between behavioral, developmental, and molecular tools, my lab has been studying the social and genetic consequences of species recognition in avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos and cowbirds. We also explore the cogntive and neurophysiological bases of self/other discrimination critical for the social functioning of individuals, including crowded nests, dense seabird colonies, and even large human settlements. We use comparative and genetic tools, chemical and physical models, and perceptual and mathematical models to understand how individuals make the decisions which are critical for their survival and success, including sexual reproduction.
Research in the Hauber lab (@cowbirdlab on Twitter) in the Department of Evoluition, Ecology, and Behavior at the School of Integrative Biology of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, focuses on the evolution of recognition systems. Shifting gears between behavioral, developmental, physiological, and molecular tools, we are studying the social and genetic consequences of species recognition in avian brood parasites, such as cuckoos, cowbirds, and whydahs, and their hosts. Obligate brood parasitism in birds provides an exciting model system for the evolution of social behaviors because, unlike 99% of bird species, they lay their eggs into nests of other species and are reared by foster parents. Several other projects in the lab tap into national and international collaborations throughout the world of birds, including the unique and often endangered sea- and shorebird fauna of New Zealand, as well as mammals, spiders, and other organisms from around the globe.
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2021)
Fellow, Animal Behavior Society (2019)
Fellow, American Ornithological Society (2013)
Phi Beta Kappa (1996)
Antonson ND, Schelsky WM, Tolman D, Kilner RM, Hauber ME (2022) Niche construction through a Goldilocks principle maximizes fitness for a nest-sharing brood parasite. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 289: 20221223.
McClelland SC, Reynolds M, Cordall M, Hauber ME, Goymann W, McClean LA, Hamama S, Lund J, Dixit T, Louder MIM, Safari I, Honza M, Spottiswoode CN, Portugal SJ (2021) Embryo movement is more frequent in obligate avian brood parasites than birds with parental reproductive strategies. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 288: 20211137.
Abolins-Abols M, Hauber ME (2018) Host defenses against avian brood parasitism: an endocrine perspective. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 285: 20180980.
Hanley D, Grim T, Igic B, Samas P, Lopez AV, Shawkey MD, Hauber ME (2017) Egg discrimination along a gradient of natural variation in eggshell coloration. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 284: 20162592.
d’Alba L, Rafael M, Hauber ME, Shawkey MD (2016) The evolution of eggshell cuticle in relation to nesting ecology. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20160687. Hebets EA, Barron AB, Balakrishnan C, Hauber ME, Mason P, Hoke K (2016) A systems approach to animal signaling. Proceeding of the Royal Society of London B 283: 20152889.
Barron AB, Hebets EA, Cleland TA, Fitzpatrick CL, Hauber ME, Stevens J (2015) Embracing multiple definitions of learning. Trends in Neurosciences 38: 405-407.
Hauber ME (2014) The Book of Eggs. University of Chicago Press.
Colombelli-Negrel D, Hauber ME, Kleindorfer SM (2014) Prenatal learning in an Australian songbird: habituation and individual discrimination in superb fairy-wren embryos. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 281: 20141154.
Igic B, Cassey P, Grim T, Greenwood DR, Moskat C, Rutila J, Hauber ME (2012) A shared chemical basis of avian host-parasite egg colour mimicry. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279: 1068-1076.
Machovsky Capuska GE, Howland HC, Raubenheimer D, Vaugh R, Wursig B, Hauber ME, Katzir G (2012) Visual accommodation and active pursuit of prey underwater in a plunge diving bird: the Australasian gannet.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 279: 4118-4125.