Jill Amy Soha

Contact Information

Department of Biology, Duke University
x@y.z where x=jill.soha, y=duke, and z=edu


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)

Research Interests

Animal communication; bioacoustics; vocal development and song function in songbirds.


2009-present:Visiting Scholar, Nowicki Lab, Duke University Department of Biology

2002-2009: Curator and Research Associate, Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, The Ohio State University

2000-2002: Postdoctoral Fellow, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University


Searcy, W.A., Soha, J., Peters, S., and Nowicki, S. 2022. Are song sequencing rules learned by song sparrows? Animal Behaviour 10.1016/j.anbehav.2022.07.015

Searcy, W.A., Soha, J., Peters, S., and Nowicki, S. 2022. Long-distance dependencies in birdsong syntax. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 10.1098/rspb.2021.2473

Searcy, W.A., Soha, J., Peters, S., and Nowicki, S. 2021. Variation in vocal production learning across songbirds. Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society B 10.1098/rtsb.2020.0257

Soha, J.A. 2020. Nature, nurture, and noise in bird song ontogeny as determinants of phenotypic and functional variation among dialects. In Levine, H., Jolly, H.K., Kolkarni, P., and Nanjundiah, V. (Eds): Phenotypic Switching: Implications in Biology and Medicine, Academic Press. pp. 483-510.

Soha, J.A., Peters, S., Anderson, R.C., Searcy, W.A., and Nowicki, S. 2019. Performance on tests of cognitive ability is not repeatable across years in a songbird. Animal Behaviour 10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.09.020

Soha, J.A. 2018. Song ontogeny in Nuttall's white-crowned sparrows tutored with individual phrases. Behavioural Processes 10.1016/j.beproc.2018.02.010

Liu, I.A., Soha, J.A., and Nowicki, S. 2018. Song type matching and vocal performance in territorial signalling by male swamp sparrows. Animal Behaviour 139: 117-125.

Sewall, K.B., Anderson, R.C., Soha J.A., Peters, S., and Nowicki, S. 2018. Early life conditions that impact song learning in male zebra finches also impact neural and behavioral responses to song in females. Developmental Neurobiology 10.1002/dneu.22600

Soha, J.A. 2017. The auditory template hypothesis: a review and comparative perspective. Animal Behaviour 124: 247-254.

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 123:581-592.

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.

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.

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 Behavior 56(5):1075-1082.

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

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.

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 29(4):473-489.

Soha, J.A. 1995. Cues for selective learning of conspecific song by young white-crowned sparrows. Master's Thesis, UC Davis

Updated September 2023