Scrub Jay, photo by Alan KrakauerView from Monument Lek

The Patricelli Lab University of California, Davis








Undergraduates and Interns

We have many undergraduates working in the lab, and are always looking to recuit more. Most students begin by working on the analysis of sage-grouse behaviors from video, but we are also happy to have students pursuing independent research projects. Please contact Gail if you are interested in working in the lab!


Jessica Griggs

Jessica Griggs

Jessica has been working in the Patricelli lab since 2009. She earned her Bachelor's degree from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania in 2007. In the Patricelli Lab, she is helping to collect observational data on aggressive behaviors in male sage-grouse. She is also assisting in the collection and analysis of female sage-grouse paths across the lek. Jessica is currently working for an environmental consulting firm in Sacramento.


Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy

Elizabeth Hardy is a junior in the Animal Biology major at UC Davis working on her senior practicum project in the Patricelli Lab.  She is working with Jessica Blickley to determine the short-term effects of traffic noise on the display behaviors of male greater sage-grouse by analyzing audio and video from experiments conducted in Wyoming in 2008.


Sanders Ho

Sanders Ho

Sanders started working on video analysis of greater sage-grouse leks in the Patricelli lab during the summer of 2008. He also helped with the analysis of high-speed video of vocal-sac inflation in male sage-grouse. He later helped start a project studying the effects of anthropogenic noise on Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta) vocalizations, with Lacy Smith and Jennifer Hunter. He is currently helping with the analysis of the western meadowlark song recordings.


Rebecca Koch

Rebecca Koch

Rebecca started working in the Patricelli Lab in Spring 2009 analyzing videos of male aggressive behavior.  She has since been scoring male positions from video, annotating multi-channel sound files, and recording aspects of the timing and frequency of calls to measure the acoustic correlates of male mating success.  She is currently designing an independent project.


Ryen Morey

Ryen Morey

Ryen is an Animal Science major, and has been working in the Patricelli lab since 2009.  He has been working on analyzing videos on male sage-grouse mating behaviors, and will soon be looking at the effects of aggression on mating success.   He plans to apply to veterinary school soon, where he can apply what he's learned about animal behavior.


Lacy Smith

Lacy Smith

Lacy joined the lab in 2008 and assisted in collecting data on male sage-grouse mating success and male strut-rate behavior projects. She is currently working on a project aimed at determining whether western meadowlarks shift their song frequency with increasing proximity to urban noise. She, along with fellow lab partners, Sanders Ho and Jennifer Hunter, collected audio recordings of meadowlarks at several locations during the breeding season of 2009 and are now analyzing the recordings in the sound analysis program, Raven.

Lacy currently works for the U.S. Geological Survey conducting research on waterbirds in the Bay Area.


Kim Sasaki

Kimberly Sasaki

Kimberly began working the Patricelli Lab in 2010. Kimberly is an animal biology major working on her senior practicum examining the behavioral response of animals to habitat disturbance. With the help of graduate student Jessica Blickley, Kimberly is studying the effects of noise pollution on the female sage-grouse responsiveness to male courtship displays.


Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu

Jennifer has been working in the Patricelli Lab since 2008. She is currently working on a project investigating whether variation among male sage-grouse in aggressiveness relates to male territory quality and other behaviors, such as courtship.


Former Lab Members


Alexa Carleton

Alexa worked in the Patricelli lab from 2004 to 2007 analyzing the directionality of female bluebird vocalizations, recorded on the Acoustic Directionality Measurement perch. She was also a field assistant with our team in Wyoming in 2007.

Alexa is currently a grad student at Washington State University Vancouver working with Cheryl Schultz on butterfly conservation and ecology. She is shown here during a summer job with UCD grad student Lindy McBride.


Andy Horng

Andy was a high school student visiting the lab through the UC Davis Young Scholars Program in summer 2007. He analyzed the symmetry of vocal sac expansion during vocalizations in greater sage-grouse.

Andy is now an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, but we forgive him.



Kenna Lehmann

Kenna worked in the Patricelli lab from 2006 to 2008, studying the "double whistle" vocalizations of the sage grouse. She eveloped and implemented protocols to assign vocalizations to known individuals using acoustic localization in (with custom software designed by John Burt), and measure vocal features with the help of Syrinx and Raven.

Kenna has also worked on various other research projects outside the lab, including a projects on invasive plants, Broad-winged hawks, Australian turtles, and orcas. Her current research focuses on the vocal repertoire of the Southern Resident Killer Whale (the picture is aboard the Gato Verde waiting for the whales to show up).

Kenna will spend the next two years in Kenya studying Hyena behavior with Professor Kay Holecamp and her students.


Erica Lindgren

Erica worked as a technician in the lab in 2007-2008. She helped in the analysis and presentation of noise-monitoring data from Pinedale and the Powder River Basin, Wyoming. This is part of a larger BLM-sponsored study of the potential impacts of noise from energy development on greater sage-grouse. Erica also helped with the analysis of data from experiments with the sage-grouse robot.

Erica is now teaching courses at local community colleges.


Claudia Lopez

Claudia Lopez

Claudia worked in the Patricelli lab in 2008-2009. She developed a protocol to measure aggressiveness of male sage-grouse, and worked with other undergrads to measure how aggression relates to male mating success and display behaviors. Other students are continuing to work on the project.


Neil Losin

Neil worked as a technician in the lab in 2006. He helped to establish our field site in Lander, Wyoming, and helped to develop methods for collection and analysis of data. Additionally, Neil and Sarah Lazazzero collected noise measurements on deep natural gas wells in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Neil is now a graduate student in Greg Grether's lab at UCLA. You can see his fantastic photos of sage grouse and many other animals on his website.


Nerissa Rujanavech

Nerissa worked as a technician in the lab in the winter and spring of 2007. She helped us to prepare for the field season, and she and UC Davis graduate, Levi Souza, collected noise measurements of coal-bed methane development sites in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. In the photo (left), she demonstrates that she is approximately the size of a cottontail.

Nerissa is now working in a field job in the Sierras.



Maura Tyrrell

Maura's research addressed the two-voiced sound system known as the "double whistle" in male sage grouse. She analyzed videos of Monument Lek to record males' location and orientation relative to the microphone array to determine spatial radiation patterns of calls. She measured amplitude and frequency characteristics of calls using the sound-analysis program, Raven.

Maura is now a Ph.D. student in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior at SUNY Buffalo


Anastasia Yarborough

Anastasia was a visiting undergrad student from the University of Vermont through the UC Davis Summer Undergraduate Research Program in summer 2007. She investigated the mechanism of sound production in sage grouse through the analysis of high-speed videos of strut displays.



Jacques Zhang

Jacques Zhang is currently a high school senior who visited the lab during the summer of 2008 through the UC Davis Young Scholars' Program. He analyzed still frames from high-speed video of the greater sage-grouse and other species of grouse to determine a correlation between physical aspects of the grouse and the change in the sound produced. Jacques has currently applied to a number of colleges in the United States (including UC Davis!) and now anxiously awaits his decisions in distant Shanghai. Ultimately, he hopes to return to California for college.



contact Gail | last updated 6-20-10