Susan Herrick, Doctoral Student
My central research interests lie in the field of behavioral ecology. I am focused on the ecology of amphibian communities using acoustic interactions, spatial relations, and various characteristics of breeding behavior to explore the dynamics of interspecific competition. The American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and green frog (R. clamitans) are sympatric throughout most of their native range and often share the same ponds. Their close phylogenetic relationship, sharing of permanent ponds during breeding season, and prolonged breeding systems make them an ideal system for the study of interspecific dynamics. I have focused my research on these dynamics to more fully understand the maintenance of territories and acoustic space in these species. I am mapping movement patterns of individual frogs on a daily and seasonal basis, evaluating changes in calling patterns and effort on several scales, and comparing the use and characteristics of microhabitats. I plan to extend my work into investigating these and other interactions in various types of habitats and on larger scales. Specific interactions of interest include exploring nesting behavior in ranid frogs and its characteristics, changes in mate acquisition strategies, differences in oviposition patterns across pond types and use of vegetation.
- Teaching Philosophy
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