BS (Zoology): UW-Madison
MS (Entomology): UW-Madison
PhD (Zoology, under Dr. Charles Snowdon): UW-Madison
My lab studies chemical communication signals in domestic dogs. Our ongoing studies are identifying the types of socially relevant information communicated through olfactory cues (urine marking, countermarking and anogenital investigation), dogs' perception and use of chemical communication signals, and how dogs may use chemical signals to successfully build social relationships. Undergraduate students in my lab are currently helping to investigate whether dogs have scent-based indicators of social status in their urine, how dogs perceive overmarks, potential interrelationships between tail posture and cortisol, and whether risk/benefit analyses influence anogenital investigation during social introductions. We are also partnering with the lab of Dr. Paul House to perform GCMS analysis of urine signals and identify chemical signatures of social signals.
Knowing as much as we can about dogs' communication signals helps us improve our understanding of our companion dogs and make choices that help improve their social interactions. Teasing apart chemical communication signals in particular may also have many applications for the management of wild canids, for example by expanding our repertoire of identifiable signals in field studies or by helping us develop ecologically sound non-invasive monitoring and control methods.
Human Anatomy & Physiology II, Organic Evolution, Introductory Biology 142.
Lisberg, A.E. and C. T. Snowdon. 2011. Effects of sex, social status and gonadectomy on countermarking by domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. Animal Behaviour 81: 757-764.
Lisberg, A. and C. Snowdon. 2009. The effects of sex, gonadectomy, and status on investigation patterns of unfamiliar conspecific urine in dogs (Canis familiaris). Animal Behaviour 77: 1147-1154.
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