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Jay Mager

Associate Professor
Biological and Allied Health Sciences
155 Meyer Hall
525 S. Main Street
Ada, OH 45810

Jay is an Associate Professor of Biological and Allied Health Sciences at Ohio Northern University, where he teaches courses in ecology, animal behavior, ornithology, and wildlife management.  He is interested in the behavioral ecology of birds, and its application to pertinent conservation and management issues.  His current efforts involve learning how common loons (Gavia immer) use acoustic signals  to acquire and defend breeding territories.   He is currently the chair of the Terry Keiser Distinguished Lectureship in Natural Sciences, serves on the Ohio Northern University's Center for Teacher Education (CTE), and participates within various departmental, college, and university committees.

Professional Experience: 
  • Associate Professor of Biological & Allied Health Sciences, Ohio Northern University, 2011- present (Assistant Professor: 2005-11).
  • Assistant Director of Introductory Biology Laboratories, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, 2003-04.
  • Teaching Assistant, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, 1999-2002.
  • Visiting Instructor of Zoology, Miami University, 1995-99.
  • Assistant Director of Introductory Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology Laboratories, Miami University, 1994-99.
  • Teaching Assistant, Department of Zoology, Miami University, 1992-94.
  • Ph.D., Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University, 2005
  • M.S., Zoology, Miami University, 1995
  • B.A., Biology (Environmental Studies minor), Hiram College, 1992
Teaching Interests: 
  • BIOL 1031: Life and Earth Sciences
  • BIOL 1201: Biology I
  • BIOL 2001: Biology III
  • BIOL 2511: Principles of Ecology
  • BIOL 3631: Ornithology
  • BIOL 3661: Environmental Research Methods
  • BIOL 3831: Animal Behavior
  • EXDS 2001: A Bird's-eye View of Global Environmental & Human Health
  • 2013-14 ONU Elanor H., and Robert W. Biggs Chair in the Sciences
  • 2010 ONU Interfraternity & Panhellenic Council Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year
  • 2008 ONU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher of the Year


Selected Publications: 
  • Mager, J.N., and C. Walcott. 2014. Dynamics of an aggressive vocalization in the Common Loon (Gavia immer): A review. Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication 1):37-46
  • Paruk, J.D., Mager, J.N., and D.C. Evers. 2014. Introduction: An overview of loon research and conservation in North America. Waterbirds 37 (Special Publication 1):1-6.
  • Mager, J.N., Walcott, C., and W.H. Piper. 2012. Male common loons (Gavia immer) signal greater aggressive motivation by lengthening territorial yodels. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 124:74-81.
  • Mora, J.W., Mager, J., and D.J. Spieles. 2011. Habitat and landscape suitability as indicators of bird abundance in created and restored wetlands.  ISRN Ecology. Article ID 297684, 10 pages, doi:105402/2011/297694.
  • Piper, W.H., Mager, J.N., and C. Walcott. 2011. Marking loons, making progress. American Scientist 99:220-227.
  • Mager, J.N., Walcott, C., and W.H. Piper. 2010. Common Loons can differentiate between yodels of territorial neighbor from non-neighbors. Journal of Field Ornithology 81:392-401.
  • Piper, W.H., Walcott, C., and J.N. Mager. 2008. Fatal battles in Common Loons: a preliminary analysis. Animal Behaviour 75:1109-1115.
  • Mager, J.N., Walcott, C., and W.H. Piper. 2008. Experimental analysis of the short-term consequences of using nest platforms to manage populations of the Common Loon (Gavia immer). Naturwissenschäften 95:141-147.
  • Piper, W.H., Walcott, C., Mager, J.N., and F. Spilker. 2008. Nestsite selection by male loons leads to sex-biased site-familiarity. Journal of Animal Ecology 77:205-210.
  • Mager, J.N., and C. Walcott. 2007. Structural and contextual characteristics of territorial 'yodels' given by male Common Loons (Gavia immer) in northern Wisconsin. The Passenger Pigeon 69:327-337.
  • Mager, J.N., Walcott, C., and W.H. Piper. 2007. Male Common Loons (Gavia immer) communicate body mass and codition through dominant frequencies of territorial yodels. Animal Behaviour 73:683-690.
  • Mager, J.N., Walcott, C., and D.C. Evers. 2007. Macrogeographic variation in the territorial "yodel" of the Common Loon (Gavia immer). Waterbirds 30:64-72.
  • Piper, W.H., Walcott, C., Mager, J.N., Klich, M., Tischler, K.B., Harrington, E., Dolsen, A., Schwabenlander, M., and N. Banfield. 2006. Prospecting in the Common Loon: intruders use conspicuous adults to find cryptic chicks. Behavioral Ecology 17:881-888.
  • Walcott, C., Mager, J.N., and W. Piper. 2006.  Changing territories, changing tunes: male loons Gavia immer, change their vocalizations when they change territories.  Animal Behaviour 71: 673-683.