Skip to Main Content

Bernard Lohr, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Office: BS 416
Phone: 410-455-2244
Lab: BS 407/408
Lab Phone: 410-455-2221

Research Group


Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Maryland, College Park, 2005
Ph.D., Duke University, Zoology, 1995
M.S., University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Zoology, 1989
A.B., Cornell University, Biological Sciences, 1984

Professional Interests

Grasshopper sparrow

Grasshopper Sparrow

Research in my lab focuses on the sensory biology of songbird acoustic communication. I am interested in understanding the relationship between the production and perception of communication signals in the context of their mechanism, development, function, and evolution. We take an integrative approach that draws on methods from behavioral ecology, comparative psychology, neurophysiology, and evolutionary biology to investigate fundamental questions in animal communication. How do animals encode information in the signals they produce? How do they extract information from such signals perceptually? How do these processes function in “noisy” natural habitats? And, ultimately, what factors shape the evolution of such processes? Understanding the interdependencies of signalers, channels, and receivers is essential for knowing how a biological signal functions in its natural context.

Grasshopper sparrow territorial song

Grasshopper Sparrow territorial song

For a detailed description of our laboratory and its research, please see Lohr Lab.

PhD STUDENT OPENINGS: The lab has openings for new PhD students interested in the types of research described above.


Luttrell, S.A.M., Gallagher, M., & Lohr, B. 2016. Multiple estimation methods suggest similar repertoire sizes for Gulf Coast and eastern marsh wrens with no correlation between repertoire size and migratory distance. Behaviour 153: 287-311.

Soha, J., Nelson, A., Nelson, D.A., & Lohr, B. 2016. Non-salient geographic variation in birdsong in a species that learns by improvisation. Ethology 122: 343-353.

Sturge, R.J., Omland, K.E., Price, J.J., & Lohr, B. 2016. Divergence in calls but not songs in the Orchard Oriole complex: Icterus spurius and I. fuertesi. Journal of Avian Biology 47: 109-120.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Kershenbaum, A., Blumstein, D.T., Roch, M.A., Akçay, Ç., Backus, G., Bee, M.A., Bohn, K., Cao, Y., Carter, G., Cäsar, C., Coen, M., DeRuiter, S.L., Doyle, L., Edelman, S., Ferrer-i-Cancho, R., Freeberg, T.M., Garland, E.C., Gustison, M., Harley, H.E., Huetz, C., Hughes, M., Bruno, J.H., Ilany, A., Jin, D.Z., Johnson, M., Ju, C., Karnowski, J., Lohr, B., Manser, M.B., McCowan, B., Mercado, E., Narins, P.M., Piel, A., Rice, M., Salmi, R., Sasahara, K., Sayigh, L., Shiu, Y., Taylor, C., Vallejo, E.E., Waller, S. & Zamora- Gutierrez, V. 2016. Acoustic sequences in non-human animals: a tutorial review and prospectus. Biological Reviews 91: 13-52.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Hewett Ragheb, E.L., Mezebish, C., & Lohr, B. 2015. Probable interspecific song learning in a Florida Grasshopper Sparrow. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127: 277-280.

Small, D. M., Blank, P., & Lohr, B. 2015. Habitat use by dependent and independent juvenile Grasshopper Sparrows during the post-fledging period. Journal of Field Ornithology 86: 17-26.

Luttrell, S.A.M., Gonzalez, S.T., Lohr, B., & Greenberg, R. 2015. Digital photography quantifies plumage variation and salt marsh melanism among Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) subspecies of the San Francisco Bay. The Auk 132: 277-287.

Lohr, B., Ashby, S., & Wakamiya, S.M. 2013. The function of song types and song components in Grasshopper Sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum). Behaviour 150: 1085-1106.
[Absract]    [PDF]

Lohr, B., Brittan-Powell, E.F., & Dooling, R.J. 2013. Auditory brainstem responses and auditory thresholds in woodpeckers. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 133: 337-342.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Soha, J.A., Lohr, B., & Gill, D.E. 2009. Song development in the grasshopper sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum. Animal Behaviour 77: 1479-1489.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Lohr, B. 2008. Pitch-related cues in the songs of sympatric mountain and black-capped chickadees. Behavioural Processes 77: 156-165.
[Abstract[]   [PDF]

Liu, I.A., Lohr, B., Olsen, B., & Greenberg, R. 2008. Macrogeographic vocal variation in subspecies of swamp sparrow (Melospiza georgiana). The Condor 110: 102-109.

Gill, D.E., Blank, P., Parks, J., Guerard, J.B., Lohr, B., Schwartzman, E., Gruber, J.G., Dodge, G., Rewa, C.A., & Sears, H.F. 2006. Plants and birds on a CRP restored grasslands in Maryland. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34: 944-956.

Lohr, B., Dooling, R.J., & Bartone, S. 2006. The discrimination of temporal fine structure in call-like harmonic stimuli by birds. Journal of Comparative Psychology 120: 239-251.

Dooling, R. J. & Lohr, B. 2006. Auditory temporal resolution in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata): a model of enhanced temporal acuity. Ornithological Science 5: 15-22.
[Abstract]     [PDF]

Lohr, B. 2005. Sweet bird most musical. Science 307 (5716): 1723-1724.

Brittan-Powell, E.F., Lohr, B., Hahn, D.C., & Dooling, R.J. 2005. Auditory brainstem responses in the eastern screech owl: an estimate of auditory thresholds. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 118: 314-321.
[Abstract]     [PDF]

Lohr, B., Lauer, A., Newman, M.R., & Dooling, R.J. 2004. Hearing in the red-billed firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala) and the Spanish timbrado canary (Serinus canaria): the influence of natural and artificial selection on auditory abilities and vocal structure. Bioacoustics 14: 83-98.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Lohr, B., Wright, T.F., & Dooling, R.J. 2003. Detection and discrimination of natural calls in masking noise by birds: estimating the active space of a signal. Animal Behaviour 65: 763-777.
[Absrtact]    [PDF]

Mostrom, A.M., Curry, R.L., & Lohr, B. 2002. Carolina Chickadee (Poecile carolinensis). In: A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The Birds of North America, No. 636. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Dooling, R.J., Lohr, B., & Dent, M.L. 2000. Hearing in Birds and Reptiles. In: R.J. Dooling, R.R. Fay, & A.N. Popper (eds.), Comparative Hearing: Birds and Reptiles. Springer, NY, pp.308-359.

Amagai, S., Dooling, R.J., Shamma, S., Kidd, T.L., & Lohr, B. 1999. Detection of modulation in spectral envelopes and linear-rippled noises by budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 105: 2029-2035.
[Abstract]   [PDF]

Lohr, B. & Dooling, R.J. 1998. Detection of changes in timbre and harmonicity in complex sounds by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus). Journal of Comparative Psychology 112: 36-47.
[Abstract]    [PDF]

Hughes, M., Nowicki, S., & Lohr, B. 1998. Call learning in black-capped chickadees: The role of experience in the development of “chick-a-dee” calls. Ethology 104: 232-249.

Lohr, B., Weisman, R., & Nowicki, S. 1994. The role of pitch cues in song recognition by Carolina chickadees (Parus carolinensis). Behaviour 130: 1-15.
[Abstract]    [PDF]

Lohr, B., Nowicki, S., & Weisman, R. 1991. Pitch production in Carolina chickadee songs. The Condor 93: 197-199.

Courses Taught

BIOL 305: Comparative Animal Physiology
BIOL 480/680:  Animal Behavior
BIOL 769:  Seminar in Evolution and Ecology