Assistant Professor Kim Hoke received not just one, but two research grants to support her research for the next five years!
The first is a prestigious CAREER award “Flexibility, constraints, and selection in repeated ear loss and regain in toads” ($809,000), which funds comparative studies of ear morphology, neurobiology and genomics of Andean frog species that differ in how they use (and lose) sound for communication and defense. As part of this project, Dr. Hoke has spent all of January and February 2014 in Ecuador and Peru carrying out field work, and will regularly visit South America during the project. CAREER awards are made to scientists before they gain tenure, as a way to support them while they become established. The project must include integrated research, educational, and outreach components. In this case, Dr. Hoke will work with museums here and in Ecuador on displays of tropical frog diversity, and will make improvements to laboratory classes in neurobiology of behavior here in the Biology Department.
The second grant is in collaboration with researchers at Florida State University, on “Evolutionary lability and adaptive plasticity in physiological and molecular mechanisms of behavior” ($625,000). This work expands research on the Trinidadian guppy, which has become a model species for evolutionary studies of natural selection in the wild mediated by behavioral responses to fish to predation and/or sexual selection. IN this study, Dr. Hoke and colleagues will again study how gene expression in fish’s brains directly influences the neurobiological basis of behavior.
Follow this link for more information on the growing research group working on Trinidadian guppies in the Biology Department: