Chemical and Cognitive Ecology: Lessons from poison frogs

Thu, Dec 6, 2018, 12:30 pm

How do animals come up with new ways to deal with challenges and opportunities in their environment? My research focuses on understanding how evolutionary innovations in behavior and physiology arise using amphibians as a model clade, as they show tremendous diversity in behavioral and physiological adaptations. I will first discuss our work on chemical ecology and show how poison frogs have evolved the ability to sequester toxins from their diet of ants and mites. Then I will discuss the evolution of parental behavior within the clade. Finally, I will tie toxicity and parental care together to discuss how the evolution of toxicity in poison frogs contributed to the development of extended parental effort in some species. Overall, this work shows how tightly linked physiology and behavior are to each other and to the local ecology of animals.


Guyot 10
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Open to public

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