Kim Hoke, Laura and Leorah went to Montpellier, France for the II Joint Congress on Evolutionary Biology. We had a wonderful time networking with some amazing scientists and learning about the huge breadth of work in evolution. Leorah (who received an Administrative Professionals Professional Development Award to attend through CSU's Commitment to Campus program) particularly enjoyed the SCREAM Symposium - "PUBLIC COMMUNICATION? DON'T SHOUT...SCREAM (SCIENCE COMMUNICATION RESEARCH EMPOWERS AMAZING) OUTREACH." She came away with some exciting new ideas for science communication and outreach for the Hoke lab and beyond! Laura presented a poster on her intercross guppies in the first poster session - "Rapid breakdown of genetic correlations in Trinidadian guppies using experimental intercross." We also particualrly enjoyed talks by Molly Womack on how selection and development alter correlated structure in evolution, Eva Fischer on convergence, divergence and connectivity in mechanisms of parallel evolution, and Lauren O'Connell on the physiology of poison sequestration by poison dart frogs. We all attended the closing dinner together, which was held at Abbaye de Valmagne, constructed in 1275. It was pretty amazing to see so many biologists partying and dancing the night away against such a majestic backdrop! Be sure to check out #Evol2018 on Twitter for more highlights.
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.