Purdue University

Bernal Lab

Research

Circle Mosaic

We study the ecology and evolution of animal communication focusing on the advertisement calls of anurans. Production of mating signals usually involves attraction of unintended receivers (aka eavesdroppers) that exploit this communication system. Predators and parasites that eavesdrop on mating signals to find their prey or host are common but we know surprisingly little about the evolutionary ecology of this strategy. We use a variety of methods and approaches to investigate the behavior and evolutionary ecology of interspecific eavesdroppers of mating signals.

More recently we have begun to study the role of behavior in anuran invasive ability. Although most anuran populations are currently declining worldwide, a few species are still expanding their geographic range. We are interested in the role of behavior and communication at promoting their ability to be successful in new environments.

Find out more about our current projects below: