Research Lab: Undergraduate Students

Are you interested in undergraduate research in behavioral ecology?

A small group of undergraduates conduct research in my laboratory each year. To be accepted into the lab, you need the following:

  • Abundant enthusiasm and a passionate interest in discovering why animals behave the way that they do. Read about my primary research interests and scan through some of the papers that have been published from my lab; if these light your fire, then you might be a good candidate for research in my lab. If not, I encourage you to look at the research interests of other Biology faculty--you are likely to find someone in the department whose research will excite you.
  • Time to devote to hands-on research and reading the primary literature. If you are struggling with your classes, working at a job for long hours, or are already involved in lots of extracurricular activities, undergraduate research may not be for you. It's best if you have at least two semesters to devote to your project--don't wait until your last semester.
  • A basic background in Biology. Ideally, students will have completed 3-4 semesters of Biology courses; a course in Ecology is recommended.
  • A particular interest in studying fish and salamanders. Exceptions are occasionally made, but my lab is best equipped for these species.
  • How do you become involved?

    Make an appointment to talk with me. Be prepared to tell me why you are interested in research in my lab, describe your background, and convince me that you have the required time and passion that are required (above).

    Undergraduate research projects from the Behavioral Ecology Lab

    Research Topic

    Conference Presentations

    Journal Articles

    Derek Baker

    He is still deciding

    Sarah White

    The effects of habitat on antipredator responses in a conflicting odor landscape

    URD 2019

    SGA Undergrad Research Presenstions 2019

    MHA 2018

    Jami Baker

    Response of Southern red-backed salamander to temporally-separated predators

    Kenzie Medley

    Dear Enemy behavior in Southern Red-backed Salamanders

    Undergraduate Research Day 2017

    ASIH 2017

    Katy Gardner

    Embryonic learning in Spotted Salamanders

    Missouri Herpetological Association 2016

    Animal Behavior Society 2017

    Paige Farmer

    Influence of tail autotomy on mate choice in Plethodon

    Animal Behavior Society 2016

    Kendell Loyd

    Learning in Plethodon

    Tom Radomski

    Cannibalism in larval Ambystoma

    Eric Green

    Cannibalism in larval Ambystoma

    Dana Green

    Cannibalism in larval Ambystoma

    Whitney Heuring

    Aggression in larval Ambystoma

    Landmark learning in in juvenile Ambystoma

    Animal Behavior Society

    Behavioral Processes 108:173-176

    Courtney Heuring

    Aggression in larval Ambystoma

    Embryonic learning in snails

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    Michael Lampe

    Detection of earthworm alarm cues by Plethodon

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    Ethology, Ecology, & Evolution


    Megan Smith

    Dear enemy recognition in Plethodon

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    Michael L. Moore

    Hatching of Ambystoma eggs following embryonic exposures

    Erin Murray

    Antipredator behavior of Ambystoma following embryonic exposures

    Valerie Jones

    Increased blood flow to gills in response to predator cues in Ambystoma

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    John Lisek

    Glochidia parasites and darter behavior

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    Eric Britzke

    Plethodon dorsalis aggression

    Frontiers in Zoology 1(1):76. DOI: 10.1186/s12983-014-0076-7

    Herpetologica 55:344-352

    Kyle Shull

    Effects of stress on metabolism in Plethodon

    Carly McGrane

    Salamander recognition of armadillos by Plethodon

    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 66:811-817

    International Journal of Ecology 2012 DOI:10.1155/2012

    Laura Sanders

    Learned habitat avoidance in Plethodon

    Matthew Lewis

    Predator recognition by shiners: visual cues

    Dave Schmidt

    Territoriality in in Plethodon

    The American Midland Naturalist 143:245-249

    Johnny Shelley

    Habitat selection under predation risk in darters

    Dan Rippetoe

    Alarm cues of Eurycea

    Southwestern Association of Naturalists

    Kelly Wells

    Antipredator behavior of larval ringed salamanders

    Kevin Murray

    Predator recognition my larval ringed salamanders

    Animal Behavior Society

    Ethology 109:159-170

    Amy Commens

    Alarm pheromones of darters

    Animal Behavior Society

    Journal of Fish Biology 55:1359-1362

    Michael Anderson

    Diet of tropical salamanders

    Journal of Herpetology 33:601-607

    Misty Summey

    Alarm pheromones of tropical tadpoles

    Herpetologica 54:402-408

    Krista Deckard

    Aggression/chemical communication by Plethodon serratus

    Prairie State Ecology Conclave

    Southwest Naturalist 40:1-5

    Shelley Grow

    Natural history of three species of tropical frogs

    Missouri Herpetological Association

    Jeff Johnson

    Aggression by long-eared sunfish

    Rodney Morgan

    Larval newt skin histology

    Frank Vincent

    Predator recognition by larval newts

    Animal Behavior Society

    Joint meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

    Canadian Journal of Zoology 78:1646-1652

    Cherie Gelowitz

    Population differences in response to predation risk

    Ecological and Evolutionary Ethology of Fishes

    Behaviour 127:105-118