College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences
Gerry Carter, Wilkinson Lab
I study cooperative food sharing in vampire bats. These blood-feeding bats will sometimes regurgitate their own blood meals to feed others, even unrelated adults. Such forms of cooperation pose an evolutionary puzzle: Why do the bats do this? What prevents the exploitation of donors by freeloading over evolutionary time? What social information do the bats use when making their decisions to help or not help? By answering these questions, I hope to shed light on the complexity of social relationships in a non-primate mammal.
Gerry is currently a Fulbright Fellow at Tel Aviv University learn more about his work here
Nathan Jud, Mitter/Wing Labs
My research focuses on the transition from a world without flowering plants to a world in which most of the diversity and biomass of land plants is made up by angiosperms. Where did early angiosperms grow? How did the environmental distribution of both angiosperms and non-angiosperms change during the Cretaceous, and what were the primary mechanisms of that change? What can the history of angiosperms teach us about evolutionary radiations in general? The field portion of my work is currently based in the Bighorn Basin, Wyoming where I have been collecting plant fossils from the Lower Cretaceous Cloverly Formation.
Nathan is currently a post doc at the Florida Natural History Museum. He is supported by PCP PIRE (Panama Canal Project-Partnerships for International Research and Education).
Kyle Miller Hesed, Wilkinson Lab
My research focuses on dispersal in the red-backed salamander (a small woodland amphibian common in eastern North America). I'm interested in what leads individuals to move away from their birth site to settle somewhere else, or instead to stay in the same spot as they become adults. To understand the way that interactions among kin influence dispersal, the effects of mating system on dispersal patterns, and the fine-scale genetic structure within populations that results from dispersal, I am conducting a field-based mark-recapture study and a set of lab-based genetic analyses.
Kyle is currently an assistant professor at Hesston College
Mercedes Burns, Schultz Lab
Reproductive structures in males and females tend to evolve rapidly, but they also tend to be specific to the species in which they occur. I study the evolution of these species-specific, coevolved traits using the leiobunine harvestmen ("daddy-longlegs") as my system, and I am interested in the evolution of mating systems as inferred by these traits.
Mercedes is an NSF Posdoctoral Fellow at SDSU in Marshall Hedin's lab.
Richard Smith, Araneda Lab
My current research aim is to understand how neuromodulatory systems in the brain regulate the physiology of networks involved in sensory processing and behavior. Our laboratory uses a combination of cutting-edge techniques to study neuromodulation, by acetylcholine and noradrenaline, in the olfactory system and its role in olfactory behavior. My doctoral research has revealed important mechanisms by which acetylcholine modifies excitability in the olfactory bulb, the first processing area in the olfactory system.
Richard is continuing as a post doc in the Araneda Lab.
Grace DiRenzo (BEES, Lips Lab)
Currently an NSF post doctoral fellow at the University of California- Santa Barbara. Read more about her work here.