evolution meets conservation

Dr. Kopack and I have been working with collaborators, including several at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, to apply evolutionary theory to a conservation problem: rearing threatened Arkansas Darters that can survive in the wild after stocking. In this paper, we exposed darters to cues (visual and olfactory) of a novel predator and then assessed their behavior when they encountered a live predator. The treatment did plastically affect behavior, but not in the direction we expected. Fortunately, the darters also exhibited some innate ability to respond to the novel predator without training. This is just the beginning of this work so stay tuned.