You are here

Lima, Steven

Dr. Lima.jpg



Ph.D., University of Rochester

College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

Phone: 812-237-3677


Office: Science Building 275

Research Interests:

Predator‑prey interactions and their implications for animal behavior and ecology.

One of ecology's most basic truisms is that all animals must eat to survive, and virtually all are potential food for other animals. Much of my research represents an attempt to fully understand this truism, and in so doing, gain new insight into the nature of animal behavior and ecological systems. My research in this area spans the spectrum from theoretical to field work. Most of my work deals with birds and avian ecology, but I have also worked with mammals and insects; a major new area of work covers bats and their interaction with predators.

Some recent/current areas of work include:

        Anti‑predator vigilance and related topics

        Predation-thermoregulation trade-offs in wintering birds

        Anti-predator behavior in bats

        Sleeping under the risk of predation

        Prevention of aircraft‑bird strikes via an understanding of anti‑predator behavior

        Predator‑prey games in behavior and ecology

        Flexibility in avian breeding under the risk of predation

        Integration of anti‑predator behavior and stress physiology

        Prey naiveté about predators and its broad‑scale ecological implications 


Arndt, R.J., J.M. O’Keefe, W.A. Mitchell, J.B. Holmes, and S.L. Lima. 2018. Do predators influence the behavior of temperate-zone bats? An analysis of competing models of roost emergence times in Indiana bats. Animal Behaviour, in press. 

DeVault, T.L., T.W. Seamans, B.F. Blackwell, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2018. Individual variation in avian avoidance behaviours in response to repeated, simulated vehicle approach. Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:441-446.

Lee, J.K., and S.L. Lima. 2017.  Hatching asynchrony: multiple nesting attempts and the nest failure hypothesis. Auk 134:1-10.

Lee, J.K., and S.L. Lima. 2017. Egg viability as a determinant of clutch size in birds: a basic analysis. Avian Biology Research 10:98-106

DeVault, T.L., T.W. Seamans, B.F. Blackwell, S.L. Lima, M.A. Martinez, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2017. Can experience reduce collisions between birds and vehicles?  Journal of Zoology. 301:17-22.

Lee, J.K., and S.L. Lima. 2016. Nest building under the risk of predation: safe nests are not always the best option.  Journal of Avian Biology 47:768-778.

Gerringer, M.B., S.L. Lima, and T.L. DeVault. 2016. Evaluation of an avian radar system in a Midwestern landscape.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 40:150-159.

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2015.  Speed kills: ineffective avian escape responses to oncoming vehicles.  Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B 282: 20142188.

Lima, S.L., B.F. Blackwell, T.L. DeVault., and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2015. Animal reactions to oncoming vehicles: a conceptual review.  Biological Reviews 90:60-76.

DeVault, T.L., B.F. Blackwell, T. W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, and E. Fernández-Juricic. 2014.  Effects of vehicle speed on flight initiation by turkey vultures: implications for bird-vehicle collisions.  PLoS ONE 9(2): e87944.               

Carr, J.M. and S.L. Lima. 2014. Wintering birds avoid warm sunshine: some anti-predator considerations.  Oecologia 174:713-721.

Lima, S.L. and J.M. O’Keefe. 2013. Do predators influence the behavior of bats? Biological Reviews 88:626-644.    

Rattenborg, N.C., S.L. Lima, and J.A. Lesku. 2012. Sleep locally, act globally.  The Neuroscientist 18:533-546.

Carr, J.M. and S.L. Lima. 2012. Heat-conserving postures hinder escape: a thermoregulation-predation trade-off in wintering birds. Behavioral Ecology 23:434-441.

Blackwell, B.F., T.L. DeVault, T. W. Seamans, S.L. Lima, P. Baumhardt, and E. Fernández‑Juricic. 2012. Exploiting avian vision to reduce bird strikes in aviation.  Journal of Applied Ecology 49:758‑766.

Lima, S.L., and P.A. Bednekoff. 2011. On the perception of predator targeting during attacks on socially feeding birds. Animal Behaviour 82:535‑542.

Bednekoff, P.A. and Lima, S.L. 2011. Risk allocation as a general phenomenon. American Naturalist 177:147‑151.

Fernández-Juricic, E., B. Moore, M. Doppler, J. Freeman, B.F. Blackwell, S.L. Lima and T.L. DeVault (2011). Testing the terrain hypothesis of retinal topography: Canada geese see their world laterally and obliquely. Brain, Behavior and Evolution 77:147‑158.

Carr, J.M., and S.L. Lima. 2010. High wind speeds decrease the responsiveness of birds to potentially threatening moving stimuli. Animal Behaviour 80:215-220.

Thaker, M., Vanak, A.T., S.L. Lima, and D.K. Hews. 2010. Stress and aversive learning in a wild vertebrate: the role of corticosterone in mediating escape from a novel stressor. American Naturalist 175:50‑60.

Storm, J.J., and S.L. Lima. 2010. Mothers forewarn offspring about predators: a transgenerational maternal effect on behavior. American Naturalist 175:382-390.

Steury, T.D., J.E. McCarthy, T.C. Roth, S.L. Lima, D.L. Murray. 2010. Evaluation of a root-n bandwidth selectors for kernel density estimation. Journal of Wildlife Management 74:539-548.