Bobby Habig

  • Assistant Professor, Biology
Dr. Bobby Habig

University of Notre Dame, PhD (Biological Sciences)

Bank Street Graduate School of Education, MS (Education)

Queens College, BS (Biology)

  • Animal behavior research program that centers on three focal study systems: (1) primates; (2) weaverbirds; and (3) coyotes (see below). The overall goal of this research program is to elucidate the underlying evolutionary processes that drive variation in animal behavior within and between species, and shape patterns of social behavior.
  • (1) Primates [in collaboration with Shahrina Chowdhury (Brooklyn College) and Larissa Swedell (Queens College)]. Long-term study of primate behavior with a specific focus on the evolution of sociality, dominance interactions, and sickness behavior using two methodologies: (1) multivariate meta-analyses to investigate cross-sectional data across multiple taxa and (2) observational research to answer questions related to social behavior in savanna baboons (Papio spp.).
  • (2). Weaverbirds [in collaboration with Jackie Childers (Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology] and David Lahti (Queens College)]. Comparative evolutionary analyses of nest construction and reproductive behavior in the weaverbirds (Ploceus spp.). The research addresses two major questions: (1) How do patterns of nest construction and reproductive behavior vary within and between species? (2) How do interrelated evolutionary processes shape variation in nest structure and reproductive behavior?
  • (3). Coyotes [in collaboration with Chris Nagy (Mianus River Gorge) and Mark Weckel (American Museum of Natural History)]. Longitudinal investigation of competitive interactions between mammalian species in New York City with a focus on how the expansion of coyotes in the New York metropolitan area are impacting the behavior and conservation of other animals, including red foxes, domestic cats, and songbirds.
  • Urban ecology research program that focuses on the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape patterns of biodiversity in the greenspaces and waterways of the New York metropolitan area. Some of the ongoing projects include: (1) a survey of wild bee diversity in the New York metropolitan area; (2) the impact of urban dams on water quality and biodiversity; (3) how different features of the urban landscape influence mammalian species richness and community composition; and (4) the impact of urbanization on avian species diversity.
  • Science education research program [in collaboration with Mandë Holford (Hunter College), Preeti Gupta (American Museum of Natural History), and Jennifer Adams (University of Calgary)]. The research concentrates on two major questions: (1) How and to what extent do informal, STEM outreach programs impact participants’ awareness, interest, and engagement in STEM majors and careers? (2) What aspects of program design are most effective in maximizing impact and broadening participation of underrepresented groups?

General Biology I (Lab) BIO160A

General Biology II (Lecture/Lab) BIO161/161A

Principles of Evolution BIO227

Animal Behavior BIO230

Research in Biology BIO370

Research Capstone in Biology BIO460



Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Mahmud M, Lahti DC, Habig B. (2023). A longitudinal assessment of benthic macroinvertebrate diversity along the Bronx River. Northeastern Naturalist, 29(4), 415-440.
  2. Raby CL, Cusick JA…Habig B…Fernández-Juricic (2022). An inclusive venue to discuss behavioural biology research: the first global Animal Behaviour Twitter Conference. Animal Behaviour, 187, 191-207.
  3. Bradfield AA, Nagy CM, Weckel, M, Lahti DC, Habig B. (2022). Predictors of mammalian diversity in the New York metropolitan area. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 10, 903211.
  4. Goldstein, A, Lahti DC, Habig B. (2022). Avian diversity and land use along the Bronx River. Urban Naturalist. 50, 1-20.
  5. Habig B, Gupta P (2021). Authentic STEM research, practices of science, and interest development in an informal science education program. International Journal of STEM Education. (8)57, 1-18.
  6. Habig B, Gupta P, Adams JD. (2021). Disrupting deficit narratives in informal science education: applying community cultural wealth theory to youth learning and engagement. Cultural Studies in Science Education. 16, 509-548.
  7. Habig B, Chowdhury S, Monfort SL, Brown JL, Swedell L, Foerster S (2021). Predictors of helminth parasite infection in female chacma baboons (Papio ursinus). International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife. 14, 308-320.
  8. Habig B. (2020). Practical rubrics for informal science education studies: (1) a STEM research design rubric for assessing study design and a (2) STEM impact rubric for measuring evidence of impact. Frontiers in Education. 5, 554806.
  9. Levy EJ, Zipple MN…Habig B…Altmann J, Alberts SC, Archie EA et al. (2020). A comparison of dominance rank metrics reveals multiple competitive landscapes in an animal society. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 287: 20201013.
  10. Gesquiere LR, Habig B, Li A, Freid K, Hansen C, Learn NH, Altmann J, Alberts SC, Graham AL, Archie EA (2020). Non-invasive measurement of mucosal immunity in a free-ranging baboon population. American Journal of Primatology.
  11. Habig B, Akinyi M, Jansen D, Gesquiere LR, Alberts SC, Altmann J, Archie EA (2019). Multi-scale predictors of parasite risk in male savanna baboons (Papio cynocephalus). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 73(10) 134.
  12. Habig B, Khan K, Lahti DC (2019). Behavioural analysis of Village Weavers Ploceus cucullatus in an Ethiopian breeding territory during incubation: 1. Females. Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology. 90(3), 223-231.
  13. Khan K, Habig B, Lahti DC (2019). Behavioural analysis of Village Weavers Ploceus cucullatus in an Ethiopian breeding territory during incubation: 2. Males. Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology. 90(3), 233-239.
  14. Akinyi MY, Jansen D, Habig B, Gesquiere LR, Alberts SC, & Archie EA (2019). Costs and drivers of helminth parasite infection in wild female baboons. Journal of Animal Ecology. 88(7) 1029-1043.
  15. Habig B, Gupta P, Levine, B, Adams JD (2018). An informal science education program’s impact on STEM majors and STEM career outcomes. Research in Science Education,
  16. Habig B, Doellman M, Olansen J, Woods K, Archie EA (2018). Social status and parasitism in male and female vertebrates: a meta-analysis. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 3629.
  17. Habig B, Chiyo PI, Lahti DC (2017). Male risk-taking is related to number of mates in a polygynous bird. Behavioral Ecology, 28(2), 541-548.
  18. Habig B and Archie EA (2015). Social status, immune response and parasitism in males: a meta-analysis. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences370(1669), 20140109.
  19. Habig B and Lahti DC (2014). Heterospecific intrusions, synchronous fleeing, and nest attendance in a weaverbird colony. Journal of Ornithology, 156(2), 551-555.


Book Chapters

  • Blanchard MR, Gutierrez KS, Habig B, Gupta P, Adams J. (2020).  Informal STEM Program Learning. In C Johnson, M Mohr-Schroeder, T Moore, L English (Eds.), Handbook of Research on STEM Education. Routledge/Taylor & Francis