Leann Kanda

Associate Professor, Biology



Students are italicized.

Kanda, L.L. (2014) Testing temperament in Siberian dwarf hamsters: animals with attitude. Biology Seminar Series, Siena College, Loudonville, NY.

Kanda, L.L., B. Donnelly, and B. Hayes. (2013) The road less travelled: even recreational trails affect wildlife movement. Poster. International Mammalogical Congress, Belfast, Ireland.

Kanda, L. L.  Presentation (2011). “Temperament and Space Use in Wild Muskrat” (co-authored with Laura Easton, Jeffrey Hatzel, and Laura Louon). American Society of Mammalogists. Portland, Oregon.

In field research, individual variation among animals has often been relegated to a random error effect, but in recent years a bridge between behavioral ecology and psychology has brought a new focus on the ecological and evolutionary implications of individual animal personalities. Personality temperaments such as boldness (risk– taking) and exploration (reaction to novelty) have been linked to measures of survival and reproduction in numerous taxa. However, the direct link between such temperaments and the spatial and movement ecology of the individuals has rarely been made explicit, particularly in mammals. We used a local population of muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) to examine the relationship between behavior in a captive assay and subsequent space use. All captured muskrat were exposed to an open field test before handling, and subadults were then radio–collared and routinely located by telemetry in the field. We used Principal Components Analysis to characterize animal behavior in the captive test. Low recapture preventing us from evaluating the reliability of the open field test, and high predation greatly reduced sample size for field evaluation. Although we saw variation in animal response in the test, these did not correlate to the variation in subsequent space use metrics. We encourage other mammalogists to routinely include captive assays when animals are captured, permitting intrinsic individual differences to be explicitly considered as a variable in ecological research.

Kanda, L. L., L. Louon, K. Straley.  Poster Presentation. (2010). "Just gotta be me: Individual personalities in captive Siberian dwarf hamsters, Phodopus sungorus".   47th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society. Williamsburg, VA. July 2010. 

The ecological and evolutionary impact of individual animal temperaments is a new major theme in behavioral ecology. To complement field studies on individual variation in wild mammals, we investigated the Siberian dwarf hamster, *Phodopus sungorus*, as a laboratory model for individual personality and population-level behavioral syndromes in a mammal. Animals were exposed to an exploratory tunnel maze, an open field test, and a predator-scent test at weaning and twice as an adult. Once animals reached adult weights, we also paired them in same-sex aggression dyads. Although juvenile behavior was not a reliable indicator of behavior in the same test as an adult, individuals did show consistency as adults, suggesting that individuals do have distinct temperaments. There is little evidence of a behavioral syndrome in this captive population, with little or no correlation among individual behaviors across tests.

Kanda, L. L. Presentation. (2010). Just gotta be me: Individual variation in mammalian behaviour". Natural Sciences Seminar Series. LeMoyne College. Syracuse, NY. . 

Kanda, L. L. Poster presentation. (2009). Behavioral syndromes and mammalian movement: Does personality count?.  International Mammalogy Congress. Mendoza, Argentina.

In the last decade, the ecological and evolutionary implications of individual personalities have become a prominent field of research in behavioral ecology. Behaviors such as exploration, boldness, aggression, and dispersal may correlate across contexts, forming “behavioral syndromes”. Numerous recent studies in wild bird or fish populations have suggested a “mover” - “non-mover” personality axis. Little work has been done on mammals, however, outside of common domestic and laboratory strains. Field observation in some mammals suggest that “long” and “short” distance dispersers may move in fundamentally different ways, with short-distance dispersers using exploratory movements to become familiar with a new space before settling. A connection should be made for mammals between the laboratory understanding of behavioral syndromes and field evaluation of individual movements. Here I present a theoretical framework for how dispersal tendencies in mammals may relate to behavioral syndromes, and potential population ramifications at the edge of a species range or in fragmented habitat. I also provide preliminary evidence on movement behavioral syndromes in captive dwarf hamsters (Phodopus sungorus) and wild muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus).

Kanda, L. L., J. Confer, K. Straley, and E. Alvey.  (2009)  Community cooperation and a mixed conservation strategy to reduce amphibian road mortality during the spring migration in Tompkins County, New York.  Urban Wildlife and Ecology Management Conference, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Kanda, L.L., T.K. Fuller, and P.R. Sievert. (2006) Source-sink dynamics at the Virginia opossums' distributional edge. American Society of Mammalogists' Conference, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Kanda, L.L. (2004) Winter energetics and northern distribution of Virginia opossums. American Society of Mammalogists' Conference, Arcata, California.

Kanda, L.L., T.K. Fuller, and P.R. Sievert. (2003) Virginia opossum population persistence in New England: Theoretical and actual life history parameters. The Wildlife Society Conference, Burlington, Vermont.

Kanda, L.L., T.K. Fuller, P.R. Sievert, K.D. Friedland. (2003) Winter foraging activity of Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) at the northern edge of their distribution. Poster. Animal Behavior Society Conference, Boise, Idaho.

Kellogg (Kanda), L.L., and T.K. Fuller. (2002) Virginia opossums at their northern distributional limit: hypotheses and preliminary evidence for species persistence. Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, Portland, Maine.