Associate Professor of Biology
"My research takes an interdisciplinary approach, spanning the fields of behavioral ecology, ornithology, experimental and comparative psychology, and neuroethology. The focus of my studies is on learning, memory, and foraging behavior, and involves experimental work in the field and lab. In particular, I am interested in the ecological and cognitive factors that have influenced the evolution of decision-making processes, information use, and learning in solitary and group-living species.
I am the campus co-advisor for the ACM Tanzania program, which I co-directed with Jim Mountjoy in 2005."
Years at Knox: 2001 to present
Ph.D., Biology, 1993, Concordia University-Montréal, Québec, Canada.
M.S., Biology, 1987, Queen's University at Kingston-Ontario, Canada.
B.S., Psychology, B.Sc. (Honors) Biology, 1985, Queen's University at Kingston-Ontario, Canada.
Ecology, animal behavior, behavioral ecology, supervising undergraduate students undertaking ecological and neuroethological studies of avian foraging, development, learning, memory in lab and field.
Selected Professional Accomplishments
National Science Foundation Grant: Experimental examination of factors affecting public information use by birds, 2001.
"An eye for beauty: Lateralized visual stimulation of courtship behavior and mate preferences in male zebra finches, Taeniopygia guttata." Templeton, J.J., *McCracken, B.G., *Sher, M., Mountjoy, D.J. Behavioural Processes (In press).
"In the eye of the beholder: visual mate choice lateralization in a polymorphic songbird." Jennifer J. Templeton, D. James Mountjoy, Sarah R. Pryke and Simon C. Griffith. Royal Society's Biology Letters, online, doi: 10.1098 (2012).
"Investigating the influence of personality on performance by family-owned dogs in a human-cued task." Templeton, J.J., Stoune, J. & Thorn, J.M. Journal of Veterinary Behavior / Clinical Applications and Research 6 (2011): 84. CSF II Symposium Abstract.
"Social learning in shelter dogs." Co-authored with J.M. Thorn. Journal of Veterinary Behavior /Clinical Applications and Research 4 (2009): 78-79. CSF I Symposium Abstract.
"A behavioral analysis of prey detection lateralization & unilateral transfer in European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris)." Co-authored with J. Christensen-Dykema. Behavioural Processes 79 (2008):125-131.
"Use of a geometric rule or absolute vectors: landmark use by Clark's nutcrackers (Nucifraga columbiana)." Co-authors D. Kelly, S. Kippenbrock, and A. Kamil. Brain Research Bulletin 76 (2008): 293-299.
"Conditioning Shelter Dogs To Sit." Co-authors J.M. Thorn, K.M.M. Van Winkle, and R.R. Castillo. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 9 (2006): 25-39.
"Reverse Lateralization of Visual Discriminative Abilities in the European Starling." Co-authored with D.P. Gonzalez. Animal Behaviour 67 (2004): 783-788.
"Development of Foraging Skills and the Transition to Independence in Fledgling Savannah Sparrows." Co-authored with N.T. Wheelwright. Condor 105 (2003): 279-287.
"Environmental Unpredictability and the Value of Social Information for Foraging Starlings." Co-authored with M. Rafacz. Ethology 109 (2003): 951-960.
"Lateralization of the Search Image in the European Starling." Co-authored with J.M. Christensen. Pew Undergraduate Research Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, October 2002.
"Public Information for Resource Assessment: A Widespread Social Phenomenon." Co-authored with T.J. Valone. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 357 (2002): 1549-1558.
"Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Socially-Acquired Information." Co-authors L-A Giraldeau and T.J. Valone. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 357 (2002): 1559-1566.
"Diving Birds: A Field Study of Benthic and Piscivorous Foragers." Co-authored with D.J. Mountjoy. Chapter in Exploring Animal Behavior in Laboratory and Field. Eds. B.J. Ploger and K. Yasukawa. Academic Press (2002): 215-220.
"Sociality and Social Learning in Two Species of Corvids." Co-authors A. Kamil and R. Balda, Journal of Comparative Psychology 113 (1999): 1-6.
"Learning from Others' Mistakes: a Paradox Revisited." Animal Behaviour 55 (1998): 79-85.
"Personality and Age Affect the Ability to Interpret Human-Given Social Cues in Bottlenose Dolphins: A Preliminary Analysis." Butzen, C., Byerly, H. & Templeton, J.J. Animal Behavior Society Meeting, Williamsburg, Virginia, 2010.
"Personality is Related to Performance by Family-Owned Dogs in a Human-Cued Task." Templeton, J.J., Stoune, J. & Thorn, J.M. Canine Science Forum II, Vienna, Austria, 2010.
"Cultural Transmission of Predator Recognition in European Starlings." Co-authored with C. Gillespie, Animal Behavior Society (ABS) meeting, Utah, 2008.
"Lateralization of Visual Discrimination in a Passerine: The Importance of the Binocular Field." Co-authored with R. Wintheiser, Animal Behavior Society (ABS) meeting, Utah, 2008.
"Social Learning in Shelter Dogs: Enhancing Training for Adoption." Co-authored with J. Thorn & Biol/Psyc 312 students. Canine Science Forum, Budapest Hungary, 2008.
"Visual Discrimination Lateralization in Passerines and Non-Passerines." Co-authored with R. Wintheiser, Midstates Consortium Undergraduate Research Symposium, St. Louis, MO, 2007.
"Lateralization of Visual Discrimination in the Zebra Finch." Co-authored with K. Wright, PEW Undergraduate Research Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, 2006.
"Domestic Dogs and Social Learning: Do Dogs Learn Better from Conspecifics or Humans?" Co-authors K. Cone and J. Thorn, PEW Undergraduate Research Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, 2006.
"Searching for the Search Image in the Avian Brain." Co-authors J. Christensen and S. Fink, International Society for Behavioral Ecology Meetings, Tours, France, 2006.
"Public Information Use: A Novel Mechanism for Habitat Selection via Conspecific Attraction." Co-authors T.J. Valone and S.E. Nordell. International Society of Behavioral Ecology, Montreal, Québec, Canada, 2002.
"Reverse Lateralization of Visual Discriminative Abilities in the Brain of a Passerine, the European Starling." Co-authored with D.P. Gonzalez. International Society of Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, Florida, 2002.
Campus & Community Involvement
Campus co-advisor for the ACM Tanzania program.
Member, Animal Behaviour Society.
Member, Behavioral Ecology Society.
Member, Comparative Cognition Society.
What Students Say
"Professor Templeton's passion for her work is obvious. It is her influence that has inspired me to pursue a career as a researcher and professor. Jennifer's familiarity with the larger scientific community makes her an excellent resource for research projects and gives her classes an exciting appeal. Her ambition, enthusiasm, and determination are contagious, whether in her classroom or working in her lab."
-Joyce Christensen, Psychology Major, Biology Minor