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I am currently working at Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, studying animal behavior and conservation. I am also studying behavioral ecology and evolution at the University of Tennessee with Dr. Gordon Burghardt, and brood parasitism in birds with Dr. Mark Hauber.

In 2012-2013 I was participating in a whooping crane reintroduction project in Louisiana; my work involved research on crane behavior and ecology, remote tracking, herpetological and mammalogical surveys, landowner education and public outreach. Official project website.

In 2011, I got a Ph.D from the University of Miami, studying the evolution of long-distance communication systems in crocodilians (adviser Dr. Steven Green). Here's PDF of my dissertation. Later I did some follow-up studies on other aspects of crocodilian biology, such as tree climbing, coordinated hunting, and using tools. Here are my article The Unknown Crocodiles about this research for The Conservation; another article The Crocodilian Revolution for ZME Science; my Ask Me Anything session on Reddit Science.

I've also studied zoonotic diseases (plague and Sin Nombre hantavirus) in the American West, saola ecology in Vietnam, woolly flying squirrel biology in Pakistan, ptarmigan ecology in the High Arctic, ungulate conservation in Israel, European mink ecology in Russia, and other interesting subjects.


Leading whooping crane chicks, White Lake, Louisiana.


Selected books

Doody JS, Burghardt GM, Dinets V. Reptile Social Behavior. In press, John Hopkins University Press.

2016 Dinets V. Wildlife Spectacles: Mass Migrations, Mating Rituals, and Other Fascinating Animal Behaviors. Timber Press, Portland, Oregon. More info

2015. Dinets V. Peterson Field Guide to Finding Mammals in North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. More info

2013. Dinets V. Dragon Songs. Arcade, New York, 318 pp. More info

2004. Newell JA (ed.), Dinets V, Krechmar M, Mihailov A, Shibnev Yu. Russian Far East - Environmental Handbook. Friends of Earth - Japan, 468 pp.

1998. Dinets V, Rotshild E. Domestic Animals. ABF, Moscow (in Russian), 512 pp.

1996. Dinets, V, Rotshild E. Mammals of Russia. ABF, Moscow (in Russian), 352 pp.

1995. Beme A., Dinets V, Flint V, Cherenkov A. Birds of Russia. ABF, Moscow (in Russian). 432 pp.


Selected journal publications

2017. Dinets, V. First observations on the behavior of the flightless anomalure (Zenkerella insignis). Zoology 123:123-123. Abstract PDF

2017. Dinets V, Sanchez M. Brown Dippers (Cinclus pallasi) overwintering at -65°C in northeastern Siberia. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 129:397-400. Abstract PDF

2017. Dinets V. Coordinated hunting by Cuban boas. Animal Behavior and Cognition 4:24-29. PDF

2017. Dinets V. Surface foraging in Scapanus moles. Mammalia 82:48-53. Abstract PDF

2016. Dinets V. Long-term cave roosting in the spectral bat (Vampyrum spectrum). Mammalia 81:529-531. Abstract PDF

2016. Dinets V. Spontaneous development of hunting-like behavior in juvenile humans: a case study. Humanimalia 8:32-40. Abstract PDF HTML

2016 Dinets V. Predation on amphibians and reptiles by reintroduced whooping cranes (Grus americana) in Louisiana. American Midland Naturalist 175:135-138.2016 Dinets V. Abstract PDF

2015 Dinets V. Can interrupting cultural transmission be beneficial? The Condor 117:624-628. Abstract PDF

2015 Dinets V, Samaš P, Croston R, Grim T, Hauber ME. Predicting the responses of native songbirds to trans-oceanic invasions by brood parasites. Journal of Field Ornithology 86:244-251. Abstract PDF

2015 Dinets V. The Canis tangle: a systematics overview with recommendations on taxonomy. Vavilov Journal of Genetics and Breeding 19:286-291. PDF.

2015 Dinets V. Play behavior in crocodilians. Animal Behavior and Cognition 2:49-55 PDF

2015 Dinets V. Apparent coordination and collaboration in cooperatively hunting crocodilians. Ethology Ecology and Evolution27:244-250. PDF

2015. Dinets V, Brueggen J, Brueggen J. Crocodilians use tools for hunting. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 27:74-78. Abstract PDF

2014. Burghardt GM, Dinets V & Murphy JB. Highly repetitive object play in a cichlid fish (Tropheus duboisi). Ethology 121:38-44. Abstract PDF

2013. Dinets V. Underwater sound locating ability in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Journal of Herpetology 47: 521-523. Abstract PDF

2013. Dinets V. Long-distance signaling in extant crocodilians. Copeia 2013 (3): 517-526. Abstract PDF

2013. Dinets, V. Do individual crocodilians adjust their signaling to habitat structure? Ethology Ecology & Evolution 25 (2): 174-184. Abstract, PDF

2013. Dinets, V. Crane dances as play behavior. Ibis 155: 424-425. PDF

2013. Doody, J. S., Burghardt, G. M. & Dinets, V. Breaking the Social-Nonsocial Dichotomy: A Role for Reptiles in Vertebrate Social Behaviour Research? Ethology 118: 1-9. Abstract PDF

2011. Dinets, V. Effects of aquatic habitat continuity on signal composition in crocodilians. Animal Behavior 82(2): 191-201. Abstract PDF

2011. Dinets, V. Observations of woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereus) in Nanga Parbat Range of northern Pakistan. Mammalia 75(3): 277-280. AbstractPDF

2011. Dinets, V. On terrestrial hunting in Crocodilia. Herpetological Bulletin 114: 15-18. Abstract PDF

2010. Dinets, V. Nocturnal behavior of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in the wild during the mating season. Herpetological Bulletin 111: 4-11. Abstract PDF

2001. Dinets, V. Winter ecology of Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus and Rock Ptarmigan L. mutus at the northern limit of their range. Ornitologia 29: 326-327 (in Russian with an English summary).

1995. Dinets, V. Surviving sites of European Mink Mustela lutreola in Moscow region. Lutreola 6: 24-34.


Selected media coverage

Here are some media articles on the work done by me and my colleagues.

Crocodilian behavior research: CBS News, CNN International, Daily Mail, Daily Science Journal, Discovery News, IOL SciTech, National Geographic, more National Geographic, Huffington Post, Oxford Press, Reddit Science, Reuters, Science/AAAS News, Science Daily, Science Recorder, Science World Report, Sci-News, Smithsonian Magazine, Tetrapod Zoology, The Conservation, The Telegraph, Voice of America, Washington Post, Wired. It was also discussed by BBC, CBC, Discovery Channel, The Colbert Show, etc.

Whooping crane research: BBC Nature, LaCrosse Tribune, Louisiana Conservationist Magazine, National Geographic Russia, Bird Channel, Science Daily.

Play research: Daily Mail, Discovery Magazine.

Invasive brood parasites: Nature World News, The Wildlife Society, Scientific American.

Coordinated hunting in snakes: CNN, National Geographic, Time, Science Times, Gizmodo, New Atlas.

Hunting instinct in humans: Hindustan Times, Science Daily, Business Standard.

Frogs and bats: Nature World News, Digital Journal, onEarth, Bioengineer.org.

Striped hyenas in wolf packs: BBC, Discovery News, Washington Post.

Other subjects: Ten places where the wild things are (CNN travel); Search for saola (Around the World magazine, Russia); Canid systematics (phys.org).