Ultrasound production and behavior in wild mice (and bats) 
Landscape effects of cover, urbanization and water quality on temperate forest dwelling bats (and mice)

In the laboratory, rats and mice are used as models for understanding acoustic communication.  However, our understanding of how rodents use acoustic communication in nature, where these behaviours are most relevant from an evolutionary standpoint, is limited. In the wild, deer mice in the genus Peromyscus, produce a wide array of vocalizations, most of which are in the ultrasonic range. The long-term goal of this research is to use wild Peromyscus as a model to examine acoustic communication in a natural and relevant context. We remotely record ultrasound from individual wild Peromyscus, and other, species.  We combine our recordings with remote telemetry and imaging. This work is mainly funded by NSF and we collaborate with Cathy Marler at the University of Wisconsin.  This work was also the subject of an NSF Math-Bio project: Computer Aided Observation of Behaviors of Nocturnal Animals in the Wild.


Select Project Publications (contact us for reprints):


R. Petric, CA Marler, MC Kalcounis-Rueppell.2018. The bold, silent type: predictors of ultrasonic vocalizations in the genus Peromyscus. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.27 November 2018, DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2018.00198


Laura M. Hurley and Matina C. Kalcounis-Rueppell. 2018 State and context in vocal communication in rodents. In: Micheal L. Dent, Richard R. Fay, and Arthur N. Popper, editors, Rodent Bioacoustics, Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, Vol. 67, Cham, Switzerland, Springer,  pp. 202-221. (Book Chapter)


Matina C. Kalcounis-Rueppell, Joshua D. Pultorak and Catherine A. Marler. 2018. Ultrasonic Vocalizations of Mice in the Genus Peromyscus . In: Stefan M. Brudzynski, editor, Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 25 , Amsterdam: Academic Press, 2018, pp. 227-235. (Book Chapter)


Matina C. Kalcounis-Rueppell, Joshua D. Pultorak, Barbara H. Blake and Catherine A. Marler. 2018. Ultrasonic Vocalizations of Young Mice in the Genus Peromyscus . In: Stefan M. Brudzynski, editor, Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 25 , Amsterdam: Academic Press, pp. 149-156. (Book Chapter) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/eth.12812


Timonin, MA, Kalcounis-Rueppell, MC, and CA Marler. 2018. Testosterone pulses at the nest site modify ultrasonic vocalization types in a monogamous and territorial mouse. Ethology 124: 804-815 


Petric R. and Kalcounis-Rueppell MC. 2013. Female and male adult brush mice (Peromyscus boylii) use ultrasonic vocalizations in the wild. Behaviour 150: 1747-1766


*Briggs, JR and Kalcounis-Rueppell MC. 2011. Similar acoustic structure and behavioral context of vocalizations produced by male and female California mice. Animal Behaviour 82:1263-1273


Kalcounis-Rueppell MC, *Petric R, *Briggs JR, *Carney C, *Marshall MM, Willse JT, Rueppell O, Ribble DO, and Crossland JP. 2010. Differences in ultrasonic vocalizations between wild and laboratory California mice (Peromyscus californicus). PLoS ONE. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0009705  doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009705


We examine the effect of urbanization on forest-dwelling bats at multiple spatial scales.  Bats are top predators in a simple food web that allows for investigations of the impacts of pollution in wetlands. During the night bats prey on emergent aquatic, and terrestrial, insects. The objective of this work is to investigate the response of insectivorous bats to water quality. We also use the NABat sampling framework to investigating the effect of urbanization and water quality on bat communities at a landscape scale. Lastly, when there is a major threat to core populations shifting conservation efforts to peripheral populations can be an effective way to mitigate core population loss, such is the case with White Nose Syndrome (WNS) and wind farms. Warm coastal temperatures along the Atlantic Coastal Plain may allow peripheral bat populations there to remain active through winter, thus decreasing their susceptibility to WNS. For all of these projects, we rely on long term acoustic monitoring including The North American Bat Monitoring Program (NABat)


Select Project Publications (contact us for reprints):


Parker, K.A., Springall, B.T., Garshong, R.A., Malachi, A.N., Dorn, L.E., Costa-Terryll, A., Mathis, R.A., Lewis, A.N., MacCheyne, C.L., Davis, T.T., Rice, A.D., Varh, N.Y., Li, H., Schug, M.D., Kalcounis-Rueppell, M.C., 2018. Rapid Increases in Bat Activity and Diversity after Wetland Construction in an Urban Ecosystem. Wetlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13157-018-1115-5 


Schimpp, S. H., Li, H. and M.C. Kalcounis-Rueppell. 2018. Determining species-specific nightly bat activity in sites with varying urban intensity. Urban Ecosystems. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-018-0737-y


Li, H. and M.C. Kalcounis-Rueppell. 2017. Separating the effects of water quality and urbanization on temperate insectivorous bats at the landscape scale. Ecology and Evolution. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ece3.3693/full


Grider, JF, Homyack, JA, M.C. Kalcounis-Rueppell. 2016. High Winter Activity of Peripheral Bat Populations has Conservation Implications for Species Affected by White-nose Syndrome and Wind Energy Facilities. PLoS ONE http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166512 


Kalcounis-Rueppell MC, *Briones KM, Homyack JA, *Petric R, *Marshall MM, and Miller DA. 2013. Hard forest edges act as conduits, not filters, for bats. Wildlife Society Bulletin 9999:1–6; 2013; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.289


*Morris AD, Miller DA, and Kalcounis-Rueppell MC. 2010. Use of forest edges by bats in a managed pine forest landscape. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:26-34.


*Vindigni MA, *Morris AD, Miller DA, and Kalcounis-Rueppell MC. 2009. Use of Modified Water Sources by Bats in a Managed Pine forest landscape. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2056-2061


*Allgood DW, Miller DA, and Kalcounis-Rueppell MC. 2009 Influence of forest stand type and modified water sources on diversity and abundance of dipteran families in a managed pine forest on the North Carolina coastal plain. Environmental Entomology 38: 657-666


Kalcounis-Rueppell MC, *Payne V, Huff SR, and Boyko, A. 2007. Effects of wastewater treatment plant effluent on bat foraging ecology in an urban stream system. Biological Conservation 138:120-130


North American Bat Monitoring Project