- Lizard display evolution. We are collaborating
with Dr. Diana Hews (Indiana
State University) on a comparative study of Sceloporus lizard
communicative displays, centered on several species that have lost the blue belly patches typical of this genus. We are gathering new data from lizards in Mexico and the SW US including behavior, hormonal, and biochemical measures, and developing new phylogenetic statistical models to infer the causes and consequences of evolutionary shifts in one aspect of a communicative signal.
- Zebrafish behavioral syndromes. We are collaborating with Dr. Anuradha Bhat to
study population-level differences in the aggression/boldness of zebrafish in India. We are using field surveys to measure selective forces in the wild, lab experiments to test the effects of sensory ability, physical habitat, and social context, and phylogenetic statistical modeling to infer the evolutionary impact of recent anthropogenic change. We are also collaborating with K-12 teachers to develop lesson plans that use zebrafish to teach basic skills.
- Phylogenetic comparative methods. We maintain and develop COMPARE, a large package of programs for inferring evolution from comparative data in a phylogenetic context. We are also developing new statistical and computational tools such as EthoSource, EthoBank, BeSt, and SocANet.