Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips

Assistant Professor of Biology
College Of Arts And Sciences
Department of Life Sciences
SciTech 311-C

(210) 784-2227   |

View Curriculum Vitae


I am a broadly trained wildlife biologist with expertise in ornithology, animal behavior, community ecology, and conservation. I grew up in a rural farming town outside of Fresno, California, and have always been fascinated with how nature persists despite increasing human encroachment and have turned this fascination into a career. My research focuses on how anthropogenic activity such as landscape change, artificial light at night, and noise pollution alters animal interactions within and between species. Specifically, I am interested in whether and how animals adapt to anthropogenic change, and whether behavioral adaptations lead to population and community differences in ecosystems.


National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship for Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology, Tulane EEB One-Term Dissertation Fellowship, AOU Van Tyne Award, Tulane Gunning Award


Willems, JS**, JN Phillips, and CD Francis. 2021. Artificial light at night and anthropogenic noise alter foraging activity and structure of vertebrate communities. Science of the total environment. In press.

Phillips†, JN, SE Termondt, and CD Francis. 2021. Long-term noise pollution affects seedling recruitment and community composition, with negative effects persisting after removal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 288: 20202906.

Smith, SH.**, J Hessong-Brown*, SE Lipshutz, JN Phillips, C Rochefort*, EP Derryberry, and DA Luther. 2021. An investigation of anthropogenic effects on visual cues: urban and rural populations of White-crowned Sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys) are changing over time in plumage coloration. Urban Ecosystems.

Willems, JS**, JN Phillips, RA Vosbigian*, FX Villablanca, and CD Francis. 2021. Effects of night lighting and anthropogenic noise on the activity and body condition of pinyon mice (Peromyscus truei). Ecosphere.

Phillips, JN†, WJ Cooper*, DA Luther, and EP Derryberry. 2020. Low performance males on low quality territories.  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2020.587120

Derryberry, EP, JN Phillips†, GE Derryberry, MJ Blum, and DA Luther. 2020. Singing in a silent spring: birds respond to a half-century soundscape reversion during the COVID-19 shutdown. Science. doi/10.1126/science.abd5777

Berlow**, M, JN Phillips, and EP Derryberry. 2020. Effects of urbanization and landscape on gut microbiomes in white-crowned sparrows. Microbial Ecology.

Senzaki, M, JR Barber, JN Phillips, CB Cooper, KM Fristrup, CJW McClure, DJ Mennitt, J Vukomanovic, and CD Francis. 2020. Sensory pollutants alter bird phenology and fitness across a continent. Nature.

Phillips, JN†, C Rochefort*, SE Lipshutz, DA Luther, and EP Derryberry. 2020. Increased attenuation and reverberation are associated with lower maximum frequency and narrow bandwidth of bird songs. In press: Journal of Ornithology 161(2):593-608.

Phillips, JN†, and M Katti. 2020. Anthropogenic noise affects winter song structure of a long-distance migrant, Gambel’s white-crowned sparrow. Journal of Urban Ecology 6(1): juaa003.

Phillips, JN†, SK Ruef*, CM Garvin*, M-L Lee*, and CD Francis. 2019. Background noise disrupts host-parasitoid interactions. Royal Society Open Science, 6: 190867. doi/10.1098/rsos.190867

Moseley, DL, JN Phillips, EP Derryberry, and DA Luther. 2019. Evidence for differing trajectories of songs in urban and rural populations. Behavioral Ecology, in press. doi:10.1093/beheco/arz142

Moseley, DL, GE Derryberry, JN Phillips, JE Danner, RM Danner, DA Luther, and EP Derryberry. 2018. Acoustic adaptation to city noise through vocal learning by a songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 285: 20181356.

Phillips, JN†, K Gentry, DA Luther, and EP Derryberry. 2018. Surviving in the city: higher apparent survival for urban birds but worse condition on noisy territories. Ecosphere, 9(9): e02440.

Phillips, JN†, M Berlow**, and EP Derryberry. 2018. The effects of landscape urbanization on the gut microbiome: An exploration into the gut of urban and rural white-crowned sparrows. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 6 (148):1-10.

Phillips, JN†, and EP Derryberry. 2018. Urban sparrows respond to a sexually selected trait with increased aggression in noise. Scientific Reports, 8 (7505): 1-10.

Phillips, JN†, and EP Derryberry. 2017. Maximizing either bandwidth or trill rate increases male response to song: support for a performance constraint as a competitive signal. Animal Behaviour, 132: 209-215.

Derryberry EP, K Gentry, GE Derryberry, JN Phillips, RM Danner, JE Danner, DA Luther. 2017. White-crowned sparrow males show immediate flexibility in song amplitude but not in song minimum frequency in response to changes in ambient noise levels across soundscapes. Ecology and Evolution, 13: 4991-5001.

Phillips, JN†, and EP Derryberry. 2017. Vocal performance is a salient signal for male-male competition in white-crowned sparrows. The Auk, 134 (3): 564-574.

Luther, DA, JN Phillips, and EP Derryberry. 2016. Not so sexy in the city: urban birds adjust songs to noise but compromise vocal performance. Behavioral Ecology, 27: 332-240.

Derryberry, EP, RM Danner, JE Danner, GE Derryberry, JN Phillips, SE Lipshutz, KE Gentry, and DA Luther. 2016. Patterns of song across natural and anthropogenic soundscapes suggest that White-crowned Sparrows minimize acoustic masking and maximize signal content. PloS ONE, 11 (4):e0154456.


Courses Teaching

Subject Number Section Description Term Syllabus
BIOL 4429 01L Mammalogy Lab Spring 2023 Syllabi
BIOL 5306 007 Thesis Spring 2023 Syllabi
BIOL 4304 508 Undergrad Research in Biology Spring 2023

No Syllabi Attached

BIOL 4429 001 Mammalogy Spring 2023 Syllabi
BIOL 4425 001 Ornithology Spring 2023 Syllabi
BIOL 3104 510 Research Experience in Biology Spring 2023

No Syllabi Attached

BIOL 4425 01L Ornithology Lab Spring 2023 Syllabi