I am broadly interested in how phenotypic variation in acoustic signals evolve with complex ecological interactions. I use modeling to understand trophic interactions, feedbacks and selection pressures in eco-evolutionary biology. I am particularly interested in understanding the effect of antagonistic selection pressures of reproduction and starvation risks on acoustic signal evolution and population dynamics. To do so, I study crickets as model organisms. I am also exploring conditions under which parasitism may change the course of signal evolution.
My masters thesis was with Dr. Creighton at Purdue University. I studied the costs, tolerance and trade-offs of communal breeding in burying beetles. Communal breeding is expensive for non-reproducing females as it shortens their life span. When a burying beetle female is challenged with a personal immunity challenge, she reduces her investment in social immunity. This suggests a trade-off between personal and social immunity. We tested the hypothesis that communally breeding individuals exhibit social immunity for better protection of the carcass.
Previously, I looked at field cricket mating behavior, carrying out behavioral observations to examine multiple mating by females in the female field cricket Plebeiogryllus guttiventris, a study with implications for models of mate choice.