Our research takes a long-term perspective on the evolution of complex behavior by inferring change along phylogenies.


Photo by J. Goldberg Photo by B. Owald

    1. Lizard display evolution. We are collaborating with Dr. Diana Hews (Indiana State University), Dr. Cuauhcihuatl Vital García (Universidad Autóonoma de Ciudad Juárez), and Dr. Jaime Zúñiga-Vega (Universidad Autónoma de México) 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 measures of visual and chemical behavior, hormones, and biochemicals), and developing new phylogenetic statistical models to infer the causes and consequences of evolutionary shifts in one aspect of a communicative signal.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 EthoSourceEthoBankBeSt, and SocANet.
Emilia Martins Lab Home People Research Programs Publications Teaching Indiana University Bloomington Left Middle Right Indiana University Bloomington