Kim is heading to Mexico next week to teach in the Computational Biology and Genomics Workshop in Todos Santos.
Kim D. hosted Dr. Eric Fortune for an MCIN talk on the sensorimotor mechanisms of duets in songbirds. It was a great talk and we very much enjoyed hosting Eric!
Leorah attended the SciComm 2018 conference on science communication at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln over March 23-25. She met many great scientists and communicators as they discussed effective science communication throughout the weekend. Check out #SciComm2018 on social media to see everyone's posts from the weekend.
Here are some of Leorah's favorite scicomm and education resources from the weekend:
A comic about viruses
A book of vocabulary for writing and talking to children
A website to help measure the readability of writing for general audiences
A TED Talk on science communication
Practice briefs for how to handle issues in STEM education
A virtual lab on marine science and oil spill science for all ages
Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy
Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering program in DC for undergraduate & graduate students
Science with Kennen: Decision Quicksand - Film Festival winner
A book about talking science to journalists and policymakers
The Hoke Lab is seeking motivated, outstanding undergraduates interested in the study of animal behavior, neuroscience, skull structure, and evolution to conduct research over the summer via NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU). The Hoke Lab explores population and species differences in the development and mechanisms of behavior. The primary goal of the Hoke lab is to understand the processes that shape evolutionary trajectories. We focus on the mechanisms of convergent evolution of behavioral and morphological traits.
A small group of undergraduates will work together as a team to contribute to large-scale experiments, and students are also expected to complete independent research projects. REU students will take part in one of several projects that explore brain development and how experiences shape behavior in Trinidadian guppies (1) or the evolution and development of middle ear structures in anurans (2). Students will develop skills including fish husbandry, designing and analyzing behavioral assays, in situ hybridization, microscopy, and microCT scan analysis under the guidance of senior lab members. Pay is $12.50/hr, and students will be expected to work full time (40hrs/week for 10 weeks).
If interested, please send a CV and a brief (one paragraph) statement of interest to Leorah McGinnis (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 5th, 2018. Please include a description of any previous lab or field experience.
Number of positions: 3
The Front Range Student Ecology Symposium is in full swing here at CSU this week. Kim D. presented an oral presentation today on Divergent Decision Rules in Alternative Mating Tactics in Trinidadian guppies.
Abstract from the FRESES Program:
WHAT IN YOUR RIGHT MIND WOULD MAKE YOU DO THAT?
Colorado State University, Graduate.
With Kimberly Dolphin (CSU), Kim Hoke (CSU)
Behavioral plasticity allows strategies toward conspecifics to change on an acute time scale to balance trade-offs presented in different environments and social contexts. However, decisions between strategies may be biased by the genetic and developmental history of the individual from differences within the brain, and may have strong implications for an organism's ability to adapt in novel environments and respond to cues about risk or reward. Using male Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata), we tested how evolutionary history and rearing environment affects which behavioral strategies are adopted and affects the patterns of neural activation in socially relevant brain regions across five acute social contexts. We used these fish because they originate from populations that have evolved with either high or low predation threat, and now have different behavioral strategies and morphologies. We scored behaviors of focal males in these social contexts and then measured neural activation using immunoreactivity for phosphorylated ribosomal protein S6 (pS6). Ancestry and rearing conditions influence the behavioral strategies fish adopt when placed in different acute social contexts. Patterns of pS6 induction across the brain regions studied are associated with behavioral strategies adopted in each acute context. Our results show circuit level neural mechanisms underlie the behavioral plasticity and flexibility we see in males from populations with differing predation threats.
On Monday, December 11, 2017 our own Jacob Edwards will defend his Master's Thesis. The defense will take place in Bio 133 at CSU. Be sure to stop by if you're in the area! Jacob will be moving on to Columbia University in the Spring, where he be a PhD student in the Woolley Lab, studying birdsong and learning.
This year we hosted the third incarnation of the Guppy Retreat for our collaborative guppy grant. Day one took place at the Tamasag Conference Center, day two was at the Primrose Center and day three was at our brand new CSU Biology building in the fourth floor conference room with a fabulous view! Day one was focused on pulling together existing data and discussing publications and next steps. Day two focused on subsequent grant proposals. And a wonderful dinner together thrown in there, too!
We had a great time at the 2017 Guppy Retreat! It was really fun and unbelievably productive!
Laura Stein was pleased to host her former PhD advisor, Dr. Alison Bell, for this week's Biology Department Seminar! Alison gave a very interesting talk on variation and plasticity in social behavior in stickleback fish. She had the opportunity to meet with professors and graduate students from the department and see first-hand where Laura is working these days. It was our pleasure to host her and we hope she enjoyed her visit as much as we did!
Our primary goal is to understand the processes that shape evolutionary trajectories. We focus on the mechanisms of convergent evolution of behavioral and morphological traits. We link molecular, neural, and developmental mechanisms to their consequences for organismal phenotypes, and we investigate the neural and hormonal mechanisms of context- or experience-dependent changes in behavior.