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March 25, 2011

ULM professor contributes to international mammalogy journal

ULM Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Loren Hayes recently coordinated efforts with a Chilean collaborator to produce a special feature on caviomorph rodent social systems in the Journal of Mammalogy, an internationally recognized scientific journal.

The feature included nine papers written by researchers from the United States, South America and Europe.

Hayes and two former University of Louisiana at Monroe biology graduate students, Adrian Chesh and Joseph Robert Burger, contributed papers to the special feature.

The caviomorph rodents are a group of Neotropical rodents including species such as guinea pigs and the world's largest rodent, the capybara.

Hayes described the caviomorph rodents as "understudied" and with "great potential to reveal insights into the sources of variation in mammalian social group living."

The project is linked to Hayes' long-term study of degus social systems in Chile.

Since 2005, Hayes has supported about 15 undergraduate and graduate students in Chile, using funding from the state of Louisiana and National Science Foundation.

In 2011, he will support five additional student researchers in Chile.

His research program has also expanded to Taiwan, where two ULM students have conducted research on mammalian social systems.

"Dr. Hayes has taken students to Chile every summer and has active ongoing collaborations with researchers there," said Biology Department Head Dr. Sushma Krishnamurthy.

"The work is important not only for providing students an excellent foundation in collaborative research, but also in terms of establishing an international presence for ULM."

Hayes said accomplishments such as these increases a student's competitiveness for doctoral programs and academic positions at research universities.

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