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.
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.
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.
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!
I had a whirlwind summer full of science and traveling. Now that classes are starting, I hope to be better about posting! I had a great time at the ISBE conference in New York City as well as the ABS meeting at Princeton where my talk about genotype-by-environment interactions was well received. It feels like conference season is winding down, but there is one more, and it might just be my favorite. GREEBs will be hosted at CSU’s Pingree Park September 19-21 and I can only hope that the aspens will be changing color by then!
Cassandra successfully defended her honors thesis titled “Effects of gene flow on color and body size in guppies.” Great job Cassandra!
I was thrilled that this year’s AFS Western Division meeting was held in Mazatlan, Mexico! The location was perfect and the people were great. I learned an incredible amount about mangroves at the second annual mangrove symposium, for example that the checkered puffer fish has a personality type for aggression and boldness. I also learned that warm sunny weather coupled with fresh-squeezed margaritas puts fish biologists in a fantastic mood. Thanks everyone for a well-organized and successful WD 2014 meeting.