Long-awaited 2020 update

Well, it looks like the good intentions to keep the site updated with news have gone the way those usually go. Let’s get caught up on everything that’s happened in the year+ since the last post!

The lab had its first graduates: undergraduates Nicole Clapp and Cheyenne Smith both graduated in the OSU class of 2020 and have moved on to medical and graduate school, respectively.

Nicole Clapp successfully defended an honor’s thesis. Stay tuned for a publication coming out of this work, which we just submitted for review last week.

A.J. Hager, another undergraduate in the lab, was awarded the Wentz Fellowship and did an excellent research this project on dear enemy recognition in Anolis.

James Erdmann & Jonathan Albers had a successful first year in grad school and are gearing up their projects in year 2.

Courtney Byrd joined the lab in Fall 2020 as a new Master’s student.

We’ve teamed up with Dr. Liz McCullagh for joint lab meetings and have some exciting collaborative projects in the works: https://elizabethmccullagh.wordpress.com/

Iván de la Hera, an old colleague from the Ireland days, joined as research assistant and has been hard at work analyzing frog calls, helping in the field, and trying to get the local grasshoppers to do something interesting.

Michael, James, Nicole and Cheyenne all contributed talks or posters to the 2020 SICB conference in Austin, in what turned out to be our last in-person conference for a while. Michael and Jonathan participated in the virtual Animal Behavior Society meeting in July.

Michael began teaching Animal Communication, the first time this has been offered at OSU. He decided to make the most of the online format by posting all the lectures online for the world to see: https://twitter.com/FrogListener/status/1295374628601376768

Frog season 2020 was scaled way down, but Michael and Iván put in some serious effort to run playback tests at the height of the lockdown. Highlights include finding a timber rattlesnake up in the trees, lots of great-horned owl sightings, and having the car towed on the very night that a thunderstorm flushed us from the pond early.

Publishing was a bit slow, but Michael got his first paper on experiments done in Ireland, as well as a nice review on bioacoustics and cognition. Many are in review right now though, so more exciting news coming soon! This includes everything from the first experimental work we’ve done at Oklahoma State, to possibly some forgotten data from 15 years ago.

We’ve managed to keep research more or less going, with virtual meetings and careful coordination. So far everyone has been safe and productive, and we hope to keep it that way. We’re looking forward to in-person lab meetings again!

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