Jackie Augustine holding a prairie-chicken in KansasEducation

Ph.D., Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (2007)

Dissertation title: Factors affecting the demography of a lek-mating bird: The Greater Prairie-Chicken

M.S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI (2003)

Thesis title: The effects of environmental variation and female condition on reproduction in Tree Swallows

B.S. Zoology & B.A. Botany, Miami University, Oxford, OH (2000)

Honors Thesis title: Genetic determination of the winter diet of urban Merlins in Wisconsin


Academic Appointments

Honors Program Co-Director,  The Ohio State University, Lima, OH (2019-present)

Associate Professor and Biology Program Coordinator, The Ohio State University, Lima, OH (2015-present)

Assistant Professor, The Ohio State University, Lima, OH (2009-2015)

Assistant Professor, Fixed Term, Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, MN (2008-2009)

Biology Instructor, Wartburg College, Waverly, IA (2008)

Biology Instructor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS (2007)



OSU-Lima Faculty Award for Student Mentorship, The Ohio State University, Lima, OH (2018)

OSU-Lima Faculty Award for Student Mentorship, The Ohio State University, Lima, OH (2011)


Jackie Augustine has been on the faculty at OSU-Lima since 2009. She currently teaches BIOL 1113 Energy Transfer and Development, EEOB 3320 Organismal Diversity, and EEOB 3420 Behavioral Ecology. She appeals to multiple learning styles by incorporating problem-based learning, field trips, and hands-on activities whenever possible.  She is actively engaged in learning new teaching techniques to increase student engagement and comprehension.

Research Interests
Jackie Augustine is a behavioral ecologist who specializes in mating strategies of birds. She is particularly interested in the proximate developmental and anatomical factors mediating reproductive success of avian species. Her general approach has been to observe wild birds, conduct experiments, analyze data using advanced statistical methodology, and elucidate underlying physiological processes with blood and fecal analyses. Her research has specifically addressed these topics: 1) determining the strength and mechanisms of reproductive isolation between two closely-related species, 2) using modern statistical approaches to provide unbiased demographic estimates for a declining grassland bird, and 3) determining how color expression affects reproduction.

Graduate Students : Prospective students seeking a graduate program are asked to send a letter of inquiry in the fall for current research opportunities. However, Dr. Jackie does not anticipate space opening in her lab until Fall 2022.  Successful applicants should have a solid foundation of field and research experience, competitive grades and GRE scores, research interests in behavioral ecology, and excellent communication. Students with a masters degree are preferred, but undergraduates with substantial field experience and excellent GRE scores will be considered.  Additionally, demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team is necessary. Generally, students will conduct coursework at the main campus (Columbus) and travel to Kansas in the spring to conduct field work on prairie-chickens, although students may also develop their own research projects. Dr. Jackie is based on the Lima campus, but travels to Columbus twice a month for in-person mentoring and is available anytime via email or phone.  Because of the distance, students with demonstrated ability to complete tasks independently is a must. To learn more about the Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, visit

Undergraduate Students : Dr. Jackie is looking for motivated students interested in collaborating on future research projects. You may help capture wild birds, observe their behavior in their natural environment, and monitor their reproductive success. You can be as involved as you want to be: just volunteer when you are available or conduct a research project spanning one semester or the entire summer! In the past, students were able to obtain summer research fellowships ($3500 to conduct summer research), present their research locally and at national conferences, and graduate ‘with research distinction’ on their transcript.  The deadline for summer funding is in February, so please contact Dr. Jackie in January if you plan on applying. Otherwise, contact Dr. Jackie at any time for current research opportunities.


Augustine, J.K., and D. Burchfield. Submitted Feb 2020. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveys of lek-mating grouse.

Gould, G.M., G.G. Carter, and J.K. Augustine. 2019. Divergent color signals from homologous unfeathered ornaments in two congeneric grouse.  Ecology and Evolution 9:11833–11847.

Augustine, J. K. 2017. BOOK REVIEW: Booming from the Mists of Nowhere: The Story of the Greater Prairie-Chicken. The Condor 119:344-346.

Augustine, J.K., and D.R. Trauba. 2014. Potential for behavioral species isolation between Greater Prairie-Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse in west-central Minnesota. Journal of Ethology 33(1):15-24.  doi:  10.1007/s10164-014-0410-8

Hale, J.A., D.A. Nelson, and J.K. Augustine. 2014. Are vocal signals used to recognize individuals during male-male competition in Greater Prairie-Chickens ( Tympanuchus cupido)? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 68: 1441-1449. doi: 10.1007/s00265-014-1751-6

Augustine, J.K., and B.K. Sandercock. 2011. Demography of female Greater Prairie-Chickens in unfragmented grasslands in Kansas. Avian Conservation and Ecology 6(1):2.  doi: 10.5751/ACE-00429-060102

Augustine, J.K., J.J. Millspaugh, and B.K. Sandercock.  2011.  Testosterone mediates mating success in Greater Prairie-Chickens.  In Studies in Avian Biology 39:195-208.

Nooker, J. K., and B. K. Sandercock. 2008. Correlates and consequences of male mating success in lek-mating Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62: 1377-1388.

Nooker, J. K., P. O. Dunn, and L. A. Whittingham. 2005. Effects of food abundance, weather, and female condition on reproduction in Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). Auk 122: 1225-1238.

Whittingham, L. A., P. O. Dunn, and J. K. Nooker. 2005. Maternal influences on brood sex ratios: An experimental study in Tree Swallows. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 272: 1775–1780.


Research projects of current lab members

Geoff Gould (Ph.D. Student) The relationship between UV signals and parasite load in Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus spp.)

Chelsea Wright (Ph.D. Student) The evolutionary significance of the foot stomping display of Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens. 

Baylie Brock (Undergraduate) The influence of habitat on the survival rates of House Wrens

Kara Wildenhaus (Undergraduate) Influence of habitat on the survival rates of Gray Catbirds

Jade Zeller (Undergraduate) Sex differences in the survival of gray catbirds and northern cardinals. 


Research projects of former lab members

Jennifer Hale (M.S. 2013). The role of male vocal signals during male-male competition and female mate choice in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido).  Jennifer is currently a Laboratory Manager at Arizona State University.

Megan Ahrns (B.S. 2015) Effectiveness of predator guards on nest boxes for House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon).
Megan is pursuing a career in the medical field.

Alexandria Crawford (B.S. 2014) A test of the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth to reduce mite load and increase reproductive success of the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon).  Alex is a Chief Medical Scribe and hopes to enter professional school in the medical field.

Alexander Davis (B.S. 2018) Do House Wrens signal predator type in their alarm calls? He seeks to pursue a Masters in Public Health.

Rebecca Elting (B.S. 2019) Effectiveness of permethrin in reducing mite load in nests of House Wrens. 

Ryan Kinn (B.S. 2014) Response to chemical cues from a predator in a cavity-nesting bird species, the House Wren (Troglodytes aedon). Ryan earned a Doctor of Dentistry degree at the University of Kentucky.

Zee Kahn (B.S. 2015) Microhabitat characteristics associated with House Wren presence and nesting success. Zee is pursuing a Doctor of Dentistry degree at The Ohio State University.

Parth Patel (B.S. 2020) The influence of migratory behavior on the survival rates of birds.

Katie Philpot (B.S. 2017) Are male House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) open-ended or closed-ended learners? Katie is working on her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

Nate Sackinger (B.S. 2015) Do male House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) vary their singing among various reproductive stages? Nate hopes to enter professional school in the medical field.

Jacob Sawmiller (B.S. 2012) Effect of habitat type on parental care in House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon).  Jacob completed his Masters Degree in Criminal Justice.

Kristin Schafer (B.S. 2012) Seasonal variation in the song of male House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon). Kristin received a Doctor of Medicine degree at Toledo University and is now a practicing physician.

Jackie Smith (B.S. 2016) A hematological study of House Wrens and its association with morphology Jackie is employed in the Medical Laboratory Technology field.

Darien Sproesser (B.S. 2018) Does egg coloration signal female quality in House Wrens? Darien is starting a Masters Program in Anthropology.

Luke Krohn (B.A. 2012) Differences in feeding rates and reproductive success of House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) between a disturbed and natural site.  Luke is happily employed as a high school biology teacher.

Many undergraduate theses are available on OSU’s Knowledge Bank (



President. Council of Ohio Audubon Chapters.  Bring Ohio Audubon Chapters together to share ideas, and work toward common goals.

Breeding Bird Survey Volunteer. US Geological Survey. Ohio. Survey two breeding bird survey routes (Kalida and Botkins). Each consists of three work days in June, one day for scouting the route, one for the actual survey, and one for data entry.

Program Coordinator. Tri-Moraine Audubon Society. Recruit speakers for monthly meetings. Visit Tri-Moraine’s website at: