Animal Behavior (BZ300) complete!

Much of May and June has been focused on teaching a summer 3-credit course at CSU in animal behavior. With 22 students in tow, we plowed through 15 chapters of Breed & Moore’s Animal Behavior, watched and discussed many hours of behavior videos and case studies, and practiced writing and editing mock NSF GRFP proposals and presenting journal articles. Many comments from students as well as some formative and pre/post assessment assure me that the students enjoyed their month of animal behavior and got a lot out of it.

“The videos and group activities were really engaging and helped a lot with not only understanding but applying concepts. This was probably the most engaging and participatory course I have taken at CSU. Thanks for a great class!”

In spare moments between classes, bioinformatics work on guppy SNPs has continued, and I am gearing up to dive into a closer look at the developmental morphology of ear structures in our toads in the coming months with 3D reconstructions and microCT work. As a participant in the NSF GAUSSI program at CSU (, training continues on bioinformatics and statistics techniques to visualize and understand genomics and transcriptomics data. Also, smile-inducing emails have come regarding the acceptances of a manuscript at the Journal of Herpetology and a quick guide at Current Biology.

In case you are hoping for more beautiful pictures of Peru, you should stay tuned for December. Flor and Fede are working hard caring for the growing youngsters in the cloud forest of Oxapampa, and I’ll head down to join them for the start of the wet season to repeat the process with a few other species. Our collaborators in Ecuador also continue to rear cute toadlets, and I’ll make a stop there on my trip later this year to learn from the experts in tropical frog breeding.