Welcome to the Animal Behavior Lab at SU

Taylor-Hunter Behavioral Genetics

     We are broadly interested in evolutionary processes that drive morphological and behavioral diversity.  Specifically we study animal communication and the evolution of complex signals generated by female mate choice in anuran amphibians.  To address these questions we employ a variety of methods including audio-visually integrated playbacks combined with population genetics. 

      For playbacks, we employ a robotic frog with an inflatable vocal sac.  The timing of vocal sac inflation can be altered to address how female frogs assess acoustic and visual signal components in space and time during mate choice decisions.  In addition to developing behavioral preference functions, we are exploring the genetic structure of frog populations to better understand how mate choice may influence allelic structure within and between populations. We are currently working on túngara frogs in the Republic of Panama as well as treefrogs in Maryland and Louisiana.