Joined the faculty in 2002
Ph.D., Indiana University
B.S., SUNY Geneseo
Current Scholarly Interests:
Animal orientation and navigation, particular the use of magnetic and celestial cues by migratory birds.
Ecophysiology of migration, particular the energetic needs and constraints of migratory birds.
Ultraviolet and polarized light photoreception in vertebrates and insects.
2000-2002 Assistant Professor of Biology. Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.
1999-2000 Postdoctoral Fellow. University of Victoria, Department of Biology, Victoria, B.C., Canada.
1998 Visiting Scholar. University of Technology at Sydney, Australia.
1992-1998 Graduate Research. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. Doctoral thesis: Behavioral investigation of the physiological basis of light-dependent magnetic compass orientation in the Eastern red-spotted newt, Notophthalmus viridescens.
Courses Routinely Taught:
Topics in Introductory Biology – Animal Minds
Bird Obsessions First-Year Seminar
Biology Senior Seminar on Migration and Animal Navigation
Deutschlander, M.E., J.B. Phillips, and U. Munro. 2012. Age-dependent orientation to magnetically-
simulated geographical displacements in migratory Australian Silvereyes (Zosterops l. lateralis). The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124(3): 467-477.
Diaz-Montano, J., J. Fail, M.E., Deutschlander, B.A., Nault, and A.M. Shelton. 2012. Characterization of resistance, evaluation of the attractiveness of plant odors and effect of leaf color on different onion cultivars to onion thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(2): 632-641.
Deutschlander, M.E. and R. Muheim. 2010. Magnetic Orientation in Migratory Songbirds. In. M.D. Breed and J. Moore, Editor(s)-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Academic Press, Oxford, pp. 314-323. ISBN 978-0-08-045337-8.
Muheim, R., J.B. Phillips, and M.E. Deutschlander. 2009. White-throated sparrows calibrate their magnetic compass by polarized light cues during both autumn and spring migration. Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 3466-3472.
Deutschlander, M.E. and R. Muheim. 2009. Fuel reserves affect migratory orientation of thrushes and sparrows both before and after crossing an ecological barrier near their breeding grounds. Journal of Avian Biology 40: 85-89.
Feller, K.D., S. Langerholm, R. Clubwala*, M.T. Silver, D. Haughey, J.M. Ryan, E.R. Loew, M.E. Deutschlander, and K.L. Kenyon. 2009. Characterization of photoreceptor cell types in the little brown bat Myotis lucifugus. Comparative Biochemistry & Physiology 154: 412-418.
Elected Council Member and Chair of Membership for the Wilson Ornithological Society (2010-2013)
Certified Bird Banding Trainer, North American Bird Banding Council
Board Member and scientific advisor (and Past President and Vice President) for the Board of Directors for the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory since 2000. Bird Observatory (www.bbbo.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to ornithological research, education and conservation. Our primary mission is to monitor migration of songbirds during fall and spring migration on the south shore of Lake Ontario near Braddock Bay (near Rochester, NY).
Advisor to The Nature Conservancy of Central and Western NY to help identify and characterize the quality of specific stopover habitats for migratory birds in the Lake Ontario basin.
I am interested in several research areas that revolve around a curiosity about animal migration and sensory biology. Animals use a variety of cues for finding their way and determining their location during migration and daily movements. I have largely studied the role of the earth's magnetic field in animal orientation.
For more than 50 years, scientists have known that many animals are capable sensing the earth's magnetic field (a sense that has been labeled "magnetoreception"), but we don't fully understand how animals use the magnetic field for migration. In addition, the underlying physiological, or sensory mechanisms, for magnetoreception have yet to be identified. In other words, we don't quite know how animals sense the earth's magnetic field! I have conducted experiments on migratory birds, amphibians (yes, they migrate too), and even on rodents to gain a better understanding of how animals use and sense the earth's magnetic field.
I am also interested in how animals sense and use visual cues in the sky for migration. Many animals use star patterns or the position of the sun to determine direction, but animals can also use cues that humans don't see in the sky. In particular, there are patterns of polarized-light in the sky that many animals can use to determine direction. In vertebrates, it appears that polarized light in the ultraviolet (UV) part of spectrum is important for orientation. For birds, polarized light information around sunrise and sunset is a particularly salient orientation cue. In addition UV light, and the ability to perceive it, is important for many other behaviors in animals such as prey-capture, foraging, and mate selection. I have studied UV visual perception in amphibians, fish and insects, and I have explored patterns of ultraviolet reflectance in the plumage of songbirds.
My scientific studies have led me to interesting places such as Australia, British Columbia, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago. I have also had the pleasure of working with a great variety of amazing animals including bobolinks and many other North American song birds, Australian silvereyes, oilbirds and nighthawks, rainbow trout, pacific salmon, Siberian Hamsters, bats, Red-spotted newts, axolotls, and an insect known as a thrip. Biological research has been a wonderful way for me to connect with and learn about the natural world.