Student offices are in 2343 Storer Hall, Phone: 530-754-7837
Jessica is investigating the potential impacts of noise from energy development on acoustic communication in Greater sage-grouse in Wyoming (details).
Melissa is a new student joining us in Fall 2010. She broadly interested in communication, sexual selection, conservation, and recognition in avian systems. She is currently developing a project within the sage-grouse system.
I study the California scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica) and its cacophonous aggregation response to dead conspecifics and heterospecifics.
I am interested in the adaptive significance of coloration in birds. Currently I am specifically interested in the mechanism underlying Gloger's Rule, a broad pattern of birds and mammals being darker in areas of high humidity.
I am interested in communication via elaborate signals in the context of mate choice and sexual selection. I am working with Common Yellowthroat warblers to try to understand mate choice on two fronts. First, why do females attend to male signals at all? If male signals are honest indicators of male quality, what mechanisms maintain that honesty and prevent males from cheating? Second, I am interested in the way that multiple signals (such as plumage ornaments and elaborate song) interract to influence mate choice. Why are multiple signals (often in multiple modalities) better than one signal and what additional benefit do males and females receive by utilizing multiple signals in mate attraction or selection?
I am interested in exploring female choice and multiple male traits. By using novel eye tracking technology, I will be able to determine which male traits females look at when choosing to mate. Based on these results, experiments will be conducted to clarify the relationship between these male traits and female choice. I am also interested in investigating the diversity of mobbing calls. By determining the directionality of these calls, I can infer who the intended receivers are and the function of these vocalizations.
Jessica is working on her second album and a new fragrance. She is also in negotiations to develop a new reality show about grad students called "The Scholarly Life", in which she will show her intellectual side by wearing reading glasses. Her research addresses the signaling value of bright sweaters on small dogs, and is funded by proceeds from her new line of handbags.
Here, Jessica is shown geared up for a trip to her fieldsite in Wyoming. Small dog populations are declining throughout Wyoming, except for the region around Jackson Hole. Click here for more pictures.
contact Gail | last updated 4-8-10