Hi and welcome!
Here at the Fowler-Finn lab, we study sex and survival, and their influence on evolutionary change. We investigate how the traits that we see (phenotypes) vary across biotic and abiotic conditions, as well as how flexibility in phenotypes (plasticity) interacts with patterns of genetic variation and environmental features to alter the course of evolution.
We explore these questions with experiments using various insects and arachnids
Scenes from the lab
Browse Our Projects
Temperature variation and mating behavior in treehoppers
Global warming poses unknown challenges to the abilities of animals to attract and find suitable mates. In this study, we use Enchenopa binotata treehoppers--captured across a latitudinal gradient--to better understand the plasticity of male signals and female preferences in response to temperature changes, as well as their potential consequences for reproduction.
Environmental, Physiological, and Social Drivers of Mating Behavior
The harvestmen of North America exhibit high diversity in mating behavior across even closely related species. In this study, behavior is compared across species, as well as across geographically separated populations of a single species, in order to better understand the determinants and dynamics of mating behavior.
The physiological and behavioral ways that arthropods detect and escape predators
Attracting mates and finding food can be risky when predators are around. In this study, we explore 1) the types of "sensory cues" (e.g. sight, sound, or chemicals) that prey use to detect predation threats; 2) how individuals change their behavior when a predator is around to avoid detection; and 3) the behavioral, physiological, and physical tactics that individuals use to escape an attack.
Experience Life as an Insect in the Leaves
The Sound Art project began with a fortuitous meeting between Kasey Fowler-Finn and world-renowned sound artist Stephen Vitiello. In 2015, Kasey and Stephen developed an immersive audio exhibit that brought visitors into the depths of plant-borne sound. Today, Kasey and Stephen are developing their next exhibit, which will demonstrate how global warming may influence communication in vibrational insects.