Faculty Profiles

Dr. Steve Lima

Steven L. Lima


Ph.D., University of Rochester

College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

Phone: 812-237-3677
E-mail: Steven.Lima@indstate.edu
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 


Lima, S.L. and J.M. O=Keefe. 2013. Do predators influence the behavior of bats? Biological Reviews, in press. 

Rattenborg, N.C., S.L. Lima, and J.A. Lesku. 2012. Sleep locally, act globally. The Neuroscientist, in press.

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.

Lima, S.L. 2009. Predators and the breeding bird: behavioral and reproductive flexibility under the risk of predation. Biological Reviews 84:485-513.

Thaker, M., S.L. Lima, and D.K. Hews. 2009. Acute corticosterone elevation enhances antipredator behaviors in male tree lizard morphs. Hormones and Behavior 56:51-57.

Thaker, M., S. L. Lima, and D. K. Hews. 2009. Alternative antipredator tactics in tree lizards: hormonal and behavioral responses to a predator encounter. Animal Behaviour 77:395‑401.

Roth, T. C., J. G. Cox, and S. L. Lima. 2008. Can foraging birds assess predation risk by scent? Animal Behaviour 76:2021‑2027.

Roth, T. C., J. G. Cox, and S. L. Lima. 2008. The use and transfer of information about predation risk in flocks of wintering finches. Ethology 114:1218‑1226.

Storm, J. J., and S. L. Lima. 2008. Predator‑naive crickets (gryllus pennsylvanicus) respond to chemical cues of wolf spiders. Canadian Journal of Zoology 86:1259‑1263.

Lesku, J. A., R. J. bark, D. Martinez‑Gonzalez, N. C. Rattenborg, C. J. Amlaner, and S. L. Lima. 2008.  Predator‑induced plasticity in sleep architecture in wild‑caught Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus).  Behavioural Brain Research 189:298‑305.

Roth, T. C., W. E. Vetter, and S. L. Lima. 2008. Spatial ecology of wintering Accipiter hawks: home range, habitat use, and the influence of bird feeders.  Condor 110:260‑268.

Lesku, J. A., T. C. Roth, N. C. Rattenborg, C. J. Amlaner, and S. L. Lima. 2008.  Phylogenetics and the correlates of sleep in mammals: a reappraisal. Sleep Medicine Reviews 12:229 ‑ 244.

Lima, S. L., and N. C. Rattenborg. 2007. A behavioral shut‑down can make sleeping safer: a strategic perspective on the function of sleep.  Animal Behaviour 74:189‑197.