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

Too Hot for singing

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.

Harvestmen Sex Habits

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.

When predators attack!

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.

sound art

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.


Learn More About the Lab

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our People

Meet the people behind the science, our big happy lab family.

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our Pubs

Browse our peer-reviewed articles (without the paywall).

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contact us

Want to collaborate or join our research group? Let's connect.

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