Skip to Content

Biological Sciences Profiles

Virginia Abernathy

Biological Sciences Department

Office: Long 350
Phone: 864-656-3588


 Educational Background

PhD Ecology and Evolution
Australian National University 2017

MS Biology
Western Illinois University 2012

BM Music Composition
Ohio Northern University 2009

BS Biology
Ohio Northern University 2009

 Courses Taught

Vertebrate Biology
Behavioral Ecology
Evolution and Genetics

 Research Interests

I study coevolutionary interactions between avian brood parasites (birds that lay eggs in other bird's nests) and their hosts.


Abernathy, V.E., J. Troscianko and N.E. Langmore (2017). Egg mimicry by the pacific koel: mimicry of one host facilitates exploitation of other hosts with similar egg types. Journal of Avian Biology 48:1414-1424.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2017). The first stages of coevolution between a brood parasite and its new host: are naïve hosts defenceless? Emu 117:114-129.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2017). Rates of coevolution between avian brood parasites and their hosts, Chapter 2. M. Soler (Ed.). Avian Brood Parasitism: Behaviour, Ecology, Evolution and Coevolution. Springer.

Peer, B.D. and Abernathy, V.E. (2017). Brown-headed Cowbirds, Chapter 5. G.M. Linz, M.L. Avery, and R.A. Dolbeer (Eds.). Ecology and Management of Blackbirds (Icteridae) in the United States. Taylor and Francis Group.

Abernathy, V.E. and N.E. Langmore (2016). Observations of the breeding behaviour of the pacific koel in relation to its newest host. Canberra Bird Notes 41:124-134.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2016). Reduced ultraviolet reflectance does not affect egg rejection by northern cardinals. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128:334-342.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2015). Mechanisms of egg recognition in brown-headed cowbird hosts: the role of ultraviolet reflectance. Animal Behaviour 109:73-79.

Abernathy, V.E. and B.D. Peer (2014). Intraclutch variation in egg appearance of brown-headed cowbird hosts. The Auk: Ornithological Advances 131:467-475.