Karry A. Kazial
Assistant Professor of Biology

Office:  Jewett Hall 222
Phone:  716-673-3284
Fax:  716-673-3493
Email:  karry.kazial@fredonia.edu

B.A. Biology (summa cum laude), Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, 1993
M.S. Zoology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1997
Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2000

Teaching Interests:
Here at SUNY Fredonia I teach Introductory Biology, Animal Biology and Evolution, and Animal Biology and Evolution Lab. I also teach Biostatistics and Animal Behavior. Other teaching interests I have include evolutionary biology, insect biology, and comparative anatomy. Seminar interests include animal communication, social behavior, neuroethology, sensory ecology, and bioacoustics.

Research Interests:

My research interests lie within the fields of behavioral ecology, animal behavior (specifically animal communication), and bioacoustics.  My research focuses on whether microchiropteran bats use their echolocation calls for social communication.  Echolocation calls are known to function in prey capture and navigation for bat species, however, they have not been commonly regarded as communicatory signals.  Echolocation calls have been shown to have variation linked to the age, sex, family, and individual identity of the bat that produced the calls.  I have found and described similar variation in the echolocation calls of big brown bats.  In addition, I have shown that female bats respond differentially to the echolocation calls of males and females.  My results provide one of only two pieces of evidence that bats respond to intraspecific differences in echolocation calls.  These findings suggest that echolocation calls, which have presumably been shaped by natural selection for prey capture, have also been co-opted for use in communication.

My other main research interest is the interaction of bats and insects.  I have begun to investigate the possibility that bats use the sounds insects produce in flight to passively locate prey items at moderate distances.  If this is indeed the case, I wish to determine whether bats discriminate between preferred and non-preferred prey items using these sounds.  Another aspect of the bat-insect interaction that I find engaging is the evolution of insect avoidance responses to bats.  Several insects have evolved defense responses evoked by hearing echolocation calls, including elaborate flight maneuvers and emission of ultrasonic clicks.  Three theories have been put forth as to the function of such clicks; to startle the bat, to jam the bat’s sonar processing, or to advertise the insect’s chemical protection.  Some headway has been made testing these different theories, but the challenge of determining the relative importance of each remains.  

Professional Memberships:
Animal Behavior Society
American Society of Mammalogists
Northeastern Bat Working Group
National Association of Biology Teachers
National Science Teachers Association

Kazial, K.A. & Masters, W.M. Female big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) recognize sex from a caller’s echolocation signals. Animal Behaviour. In press.


Bergdall, V. DVM, DACLAM, Burnett, S. PhD, Kazial, K. PhD, Mulliken, C. DVM, Monahan, C. DVM, PhD & Masters, W.M. PhD. 2002. Treating mites in a bat colony: A case study. Lab Animal, 31(5): 43-45.


Kazial, K.A., Burnett, S.C. & Masters, W.M. 2001. Individual and group variation in the echolocation calls of big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae).  Journal of Mammalogy, 82(2): 339-351.


Burnett, S.C., Kazial, K.A. & Masters, W.M. 2001. Discriminating individual big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus) sonar vocalizations in different recording situations. Bioacoustics, 11(3-4): 189-210.    

Masters, W.M., Raver, K.A.S. & Kazial, K.A. 1995. Sonar signals of big brown bats, Eptesicus fuscus, contain information about individual identity, age and family affiliation. Animal Behaviour, 50: 1243-1260.

A Few Favorite WWW links:
Animal Behavior Society
American Society of Mammalogists
Bat Conservation International
World Wildlife Fund
Discovery Online