The Integrative Avian Biology Lab has facilities on the main ISU campus in Normal, as well as satellite facilities and field sites on other ISU-owned properties in both Normal and Lexington, IL.
Labs and Equipment: Main lab, Neuroscience core facility, Voltammetry lab, RIA lab
Research Aviary: The IAB Research Aviary is a recently renovated satellite facility located in a former swine breeding building. It has been completely updated to house wild and domesticated birds for captive research studies, as well as to support the field research of the lab.
Field Sites: The lab maintains four field sites at which we study the breeding biology of European starlings. Three of the field sites with a total of 86 nest boxes are located on ISU-owned properties and comprise our Normal, IL study population. The fourth site, with a total of 60 nest boxes is located on the ISU livestock farm and constitutes the Lexington, IL study population. Thanks to a grant from the Center for Math Science and Technology at ISU, all nest boxes are equipped with automated RFID systems that can detect and log entries and exits of uniquely identified birds. In addition to serving as a study site for free-living starlings, the Lexington site also serves as a resource for trapping starlings for captive work. An adjacent composting operation, a partnership between ISU, Midwest Fiber, and the Town of Normal, attracts thousands of starlings during the non-breeding season.
Lab Protocol Archive: Lab members have password access to the research protocol archive. If you are interested in a protocol and do not have password access, contact Dr. Casto by phone or email with your request.
Student Resources: Undergraduate and graduate students may find useful files and links here.