Guppy kits are a hit

Emily Kane and I presented our guppy kits at the SICB meeting this week, and they were a big hit. We are so excited about the enthusiasm from fellow biologists are gearing up to us this kits in classrooms this semester.

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An update from Bella Romero Academy

Students in the after school science club at Bella Romero Academy have been making serious progress on their research. They agreed on a question: how does guppy anti-predator behavior differ depending on the sense they use to perceive a threat? After generating some hypotheses, they designed and built experimental set-ups. We are already collecting data!

We have an auditory, tactile cue...

We have an auditory, haptic cue…

We have olfactory cues...

We have olfactory cues…

And last but not least, a visual cue.

And last but not least, a visual cue.

GREEBs 2015

I can’t believe that I forgot to post GREEBs pictures! This is one of my favorite conferences and I never miss it. This year Bill Bowman did an excellent job organizing the meeting. All of the talks were great and the Mountain Research Station was beautiful. Thanks to everyone who made this another successful year.

Scientific talk sound better when you are sitting in a real log cabin with a wood-burning stove.

 

And we were just in time for the "gold rush"

And we were just in time for the “gold rush”

Science on Tap Talk

I had the opportunity to talk about my work with the public at a local brewery! Patero’s Creek Brewing Company hosts a monthly Science on Tap event and I was the invited speaker on August 31st. There was a fantastic turn out (standing room only)  and I had a great time talking about my work with the public. If you couldn’t make it out, you can watch the 1-hour event here.

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Water week

We just had some lovely guests in the guppy lab today as part of water week. Thanks Alisha for bringing your students to learn about local adaptation in guppies. Check out some pictures from the event.

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Press about our recent paper

I just realized that I never posted to say that we had an exciting paper published last month. Instead of giving you the low down, I’ll direct you to a press piece that did a great job capturing the important parts of the paper. Thanks FishSens for your interest in our work. And check out the paper if you are interested in learning more.

Congrats Austin Broberg

A slightly belated congratulations to Austin Broberg! He just graduated from CSU after successfully defending his honors thesis titled “The effects of behavior, body shape, and coloration on fitness in male Trinidadian guppies.” Austin started doing research in our lab during his first semester at CSU and it has been a pleasure to work with him. I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

A particularly flattering photo of Austin recording guppy behavior

A particularly flattering photo of Austin recording guppy behavior

AFS CO/WY 2015

I hade a lovely time at the CO/WY AFS this year so thanks to all of the organizers. I was thrilled to get such positive feedback on my talk about increasing our outreach impact by using an authentic science approach. There were many great talks during the meeting, but I was particularly inspired by Dr. Fausch’s talk about his new book For the Love of Rivers. Check it out.

Front Range Student Ecology Symposium 2015

A talented group of eighth-grade scientists from Katie Guilbert’s class at Bella Romero (Greeley, CO) presented original research about exploratory behavior in guppies at a local conference this week at CSU. They did an amazing job and I’m so very proud to list them as collaborators. A big thanks to the Front Range Student Ecology Symposium for giving us the opportunity to share our research.

Bella Romero eighth-grader Joel Chavez presents our research to GDPE director Dr. LeRoy Poff at CSU's Front Range Student Ecology Symposium February 25, 2015.

Bella Romero eighth-grader Joel Chavez presents our research to GDPE director Dr. LeRoy Poff at CSU’s Front Range Student Ecology Symposium February 25, 2015.

Did you know that guppies are right and left handed just like us?

Check out my recent paper about handedness in guppies. Guppies that are strongly left or right handed (AKA lateralized) seem to have an advantage when it comes to shoaling, foraging, and evading predators. Se we’ve often assumed that there is strong selection for laterality in environments with lots of predators. But my work shows that guppies who are reared with predator chemical cues are more lateralized than their brothers reared without cues. Score another point for plasticity!