Ines Geraldine Moran
I am a Ph.D Candidate in the Cain Lab at the University of Auckland, working on avian bioacoustics and vocal ecology.
In 2017, I received my M.Sc from the University of Windsor, in the Mennill Sound Analysis Lab, Canada. My Master's research focused on the vocal communication of Savannah Sparrows, Passerculus sandwichensis. I investigated the aggressive escalation interactions and seasonal vocal variation of Savannah Sparrows songs. I worked on a relatively unstudied signal, low-amplitude songs also known as soft songs, and on models of signal escalation. During my Master's, I was also involved in research led by Dr. Mennill that aimed to elucidate the mechanisms of social song learning in birds.
In 2015, I received my B.Sc from the University of British Columbia where I conducted undergraduate research in the Jankowski Lab, at the University of British Columbia, using song recordings from Orange-billed Nightingale thrushes, Catharus aurantiirostris, from Costa Rica to determine whether individuals are capable of song matching.
- 2018-2021 Ph.D. Candidate, Cain’s Lab, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
- 2017-2018 Acoustic Technician for the British Columbia Conservation Foundation with assignments for the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, British Columbia, Canada
- 2017 M.Sc., Sound Analysis Mennill Lab, University of Windsor, Windsor, Canada
- 2015-2017 Graduate Assistant in Ornithology and Speciation, University of Windsor, Canada
- 2015-2017 Founder of the Avian Taxidermy Club, University of Windsor, Canada
- 2015 Bioacoustic Research Assistant for the Sound Analysis Mennill Lab, Kent Island, New Brunswick, Canada
- 2015 B.Sc, Major in Biology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
- 2013-2014 Curational Museum Assistant, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver, Canada
- 2011 A.S., Science diploma from Langara College, Vancouver, Canada
- 2010-2014 Science Teacher in Preschools and French Teacher in Language schools, Vancouver, Canada
Research | Current
My research investigates dialects, vocal networks, and vocal learning in avian kinship groups. More particularly, my research focuses on a native bird of New Zealand, the Titipounamu, also know as the Rifleman. The Rifleman is of particular interest to researchers in the field of animal vocal communication as it shares a common ancestor with parrots and oscine birds- groups of birds known to learn their vocalizations. My research aims to investigate the vocal learning abilities of the Rifleman.
- Birds NZ Research Funds, 2019-2020
- University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarship (UoADS), 2018-2021
- Animal Behaviour Society Research Award, 2017
- Department of Biology Chris Wysiekierski Memorial Scholarship, 2017
- Faculty of Science Impact Award, 2017
- American Ornithological Union Travel Award, 2016
- B.Sc with distinctions, 2015
- Nature Vancouver Scholarship, 2015
Areas of expertise
- Animal Behaviour
- Animal Communication
- Evolution of Vocal Learning
- Acoustic analysis
- Wildlife ecology
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Mennill, D. J., Doucet, S. M., Newman, A. E. M., Williams, H., Moran, I. G., Thomas, I. P., ... Norris, D. R. (2019). Eavesdropping on adult vocal interactions does not enhance juvenile song learning: an experiment with wild songbirds. Animal Behaviour, 155, 67-75. 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.05.019
- Moran, I. G., Loo, Y. Y., & Cain, K. E. (2019). Long-tailed cuckoo (Eudynamys taitensis) predation on rifleman (Acanthisitta chloris) nestlings. Notornis, 66 (2), 103-107. Related URL.
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Yen Yi Loo, Kristal Cain
- Moran, I. G., Lukianchuk, K. C., Doucet, S. M., Newman, A. E. M., Williams, H., Norris, D. R., & Mennill, D. J. (2019). Diel and seasonal patterns of variation in the singing behaviour of Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis). Avian Research, 10 (26)10.1186/s40657-019-0165-6
- Mennill, D. J., Doucet, S. M., Newman, A. E. M., Williams, H., Moran, I. G., Thomas, I. P., ... Mennill, D. J. (2018). Wild Birds Learn Songs from Experimental Vocal Tutors. Current Biology, 28 (20), 3273-3278. 10.1016/j.cub.2018.08.011
- Moran, I. G., Doucet, S. M., Newman, A. E. M., Norris, D. R., & Mennill, D. J. (2018). Quiet violence: Savannah Sparrows respond to playback‐simulated rivals using low‐amplitude songs as aggressive signals. Ethology, 124 (10), 724-732. 10.1111/eth.12805