Jill Amy Soha
Visiting Scholar, Nowicki Lab, Duke University Department of Biology
2002-2009: Curator and Research Associate,
Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, The Ohio State University
Department of Biology
PO Box 90338
Durham, NC 27708
firstname.lastname@example.org where x=jill, y=padd, and z=com
University of California, Davis, CA; MS in Ecology (1995), PhD in Animal Behavior (1999)
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA; BS with Honor in Biology (1993)
Animal communication; vocal development and evolution in songbirds.
Research and Publications
Studied song learning, geographic song variation and song discrimination in the grasshopper sparrow and am assisting with studies in other species.
- Soha, J.A. 2017. The auditory template hypothesis: a review and comparative perspective. Animal Behaviour 124: 247-254.
- Soha, J.A., Poesel, A., Nelson, D.A., and Lohr, B. 2016. Non-salient geographic variation in birdsong in a species that learns by improvisation. Ethology 122: 343-353.
- Soha, J.A. and Peters, S. 2015. Vocal learning in songbirds and humans: A retrospective in honor of Peter Marler. Ethology 121: 933-945.
- Searcy, W.A., Sewall, K.B., Soha, J.A., Nowicki, S. and Peters, S. 2014. Song-type sharing in a population of Song Sparrows in the eastern United States. Journal of Field Ornithology 85: 206-212.
- Sewall, K.B., Soha, J.A., Peters, S., and Nowicki, S. 2013. Potential trade-off between vocal ornamentation and spatial ability in a songbird. Biology Letters 9.
- Seger-Fullam, K., Rodewald, A., and Soha, J.A. 2011. Urban noise predicts song frequency in Northern Cardinals and American Robins. Bioacoustics 20: 267-276.
- Soha, J.A., Lohr, B., and Gill, D.E. 2009. Song development in the grasshopper sparrow,
Ammodramus savannarum. Animal Behaviour 77: 1479-1489.
January 2000-June 2002
(The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH)
Used microsatellite DNA analysis to investigate whether genetic differentiation
exists between song dialect populations of the migratory pugetensis subspecies
of the white-crowned sparrow, to address the question of whether song learning, which can
give rise to geographical dialect formation, might also lead to population divergence and
potentially to speciation. This was an NSF-funded postdoctoral fellowship sponsored by
Dr. Doug Nelson
(see also his research page)
and Dr. Patty Parker (now at UM St. Louis).
- Poesel, A., Fries, A.C., Miller, L., Gibbs, H.L., Soha, J.A., and Nelson, D.A. 2017. High levels
of gene flow among song dialect populations of the Puget Sound white-crowned sparrow. Ethology
- Soha, J.A., Nelson, D.A., and Parker, P.G. 2004. Genetic analysis of song dialect populations
in Puget Sound white-crowned sparrows. Behavioral Ecology 15:636-646.
- Nelson, D.A. and Soha, J.A. 2004. Perception of geographical variation in song by male Puget Sound
white-crowned sparrows, Zonotrichia leucophrys pugetensis. Animal Behaviour 68(2):395-405.
- Nelson, D.A. and Soha, J.A. 2004. Male and female white-crowned sparrows respond differently to
geographic variation in song. Behaviour 141:53-69.
- Nelson, D.A., Hallberg, K.I., and Soha, J.A. 2004. Cultural evolution of Puget Sound white-crowned
sparrow song dialects. Ethology 110:879-908.
September 1993-December 1999
(University of California, Davis, CA)
Investigated song learning and recognition in white-crowned sparrows in
the lab of Dr. Peter Marler. This included design and synthesis of tutor songs, song recording and analysis,
testing vocal response of young birds to song playback and conducting field
playback experiments. I also assisted with a study of environmental
factors affecting song learning, including assay of plasma testosterone,
and collaborated on neurophysiological experiments with
Dr. Allison Doupe at UCSF. Funded by an NIH predoctoral fellowship and an NSF research training grant award.
Soha, J.A. and Whaling, C.S. 2002. Responses of adult white-crowned sparrows to
playback of song phrases: Implications for the ontogeny of song recognition. Condor 104:848-854.
Soha, J.A. and Marler, P. 2001. Cues for early discrimination of conspecific song in the
white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Ethology 107:813-826.
Soha, J.A. and Marler, P. 2001. Vocal syntax development in the white-crowned
sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). Journal of Comparative Psychology 115(2):172-180.
Soha, J.A. and Marler, P. 2000. A species-specific cue for selective song
learning in the white-crowned sparrow. Animal Behavior 60(3):297-306.
Soha, J.A. 1999. Experience and genetic predispositions in white-crowned
sparrow song development. Doctoral Dissertation, UC Davis
Clayton, N.S., and Soha, J.A. 1999. Memory in avian food caching and song
learning: a general mechanism or different processes? Advances in the
Study of Behavior 26: chapter 4.
Whaling, C.S., Soha, J.A., Nelson, D.A., Lasley, B., and Marler, P. 1998.
Photoperiod and tutor access affect the process of vocal learning. Animal
Nelson, D.A., Marler, P., Soha, J.A., and Fullerton, A. 1997. The timing
of song memorization differs in males and females: a new assay for avian
vocal learning. Animal Behavior 54(3):587-597
Whaling, C.S., Solis, M.M., Doupe, A.J., Soha, J.A., and Marler, P. 1997.
Acoustic and neural bases for innate recognition of song. Proceedings
of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 94(23):12694-8
Soha, J.A. 1995. Cues for selective learning of conspecific song by young
white-crowned sparrows. Master's Thesis, UC Davis
September 1991-April 1993
(California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA)
Completed an undergraduate thesis project in the lab of
Dr. Mark Konishi to determine the role and development of catecholamines
in the neural song system of the zebra finch. This involved histology, performance
of chemical and electrolytic lesions, song recording and analysis,
photomicrography and darkroom use.
Soha, J.A., Shimizu, T., and Doupe, A.J. 1996. Development of the catecholamine
innervation of the male zebra finch song system. Journal of Neurobiology
(Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY)
Recorded birds in the field and analyzed the recordings as part of a project
to perfect a technique of acoustically locating birds using field microphones.
I also assisted with capture, measurement, labeling, and release of Northern Cardinals
for behavioral studies, and analyzed recordings of whale song for
a species monitoring project in the bioacoustics lab of Dr. Chris Clark.
Summers 1989, 1990
(Eunice K. Shriver Center, Waltham, MA)
Studied cerebellar development of mutant mice through cell counts,
performed microinjections for production of transgenic mice, designed
oligoprimers for detecting presence of transgene DNA, and purified and tested
DNA. I also did laboratory organization, computer programming and
data processing in the lab of
Dr. Karl Herrup.
Maricich, S.M., Soha, J.A., Trenkner, E., and Herrup, K. 1997. Failed cell
migration and death of purkinje cells and deep nuclear neurons in the weaver
cerebellum. Journal of Neuroscience 17(10):3675-83.
Updated June 2016