Darwin Keynote

Robert MacArthur

Robert MacArthur was an extremely influential ecologist during the 1960s. His emphasis on hypothesis driven research transformed ecology from a primarily descriptive field into a theory driven experimentally based discipline.

Tuesday 29 March 2011
Seminar begins at 4pm in S012
(cookies at 3:30)

"Vocal communication, sexual selection and speciation in frogs"
Dr. H. Carl Gerhardt
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Missouri

Dr. Gehardt’s research involves both evolutionary and neurobiological approaches to acoustic communication in frogs and toads. The system is particularly suitable for quantitative and experimental studies: males produce complex but stereotyped acoustic signals, whereas females respond phonotactically to playbacks of both natural and synthetic (computer-generated) sounds. By systematically varying the acoustic properties of synthetic sounds, he identifies the pertinent properties used in mate choice and can thus make predictions about the direction, if any, of change in acoustic signal structure through evolutionary time. Knowledge about the pertinent properties of communication sounds also serves as a framework for studying the underlying neural mechanisms. Specifically, this research guides searches for auditory neurons or networks that selectively respond to acoustic features of known biological significance in mate choice.

For more information visit Dr. Gerhardt's laboratory http://www.biology.missouri.edu/people/person.lasso?-Search=Action&-Table=Faculty_Research&-Database=Tracking&-KeyValue=78k

Past Speakers

2010, Dr. Rick Douglas

2009, Dr. Jonathan Newman