2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Program Participant

Home Department: Music
Mentor: Lauren O'Connell (Biology)

“Hormonal and Acoustic Drivers of Parental Coordination in a Poisonous Frog”

Teamwork between parents ensures family survival. Interparental communication is the foundation for infant social success and positive health outcomes. This communication is modulated by acoustic or hormonal factors. The biparental poison frog Ranitomeya imitator produces calls that vary with different social tasks, such as infant care and mating. Using these poison frogs, Marc will (1) record, quantify, and compare call characteristics, focusing on social calls during mating and parenting, (2) use enzyme-linked immunoassays (ELISAs) to measure hormonal concentrations depending on frog temporal behavior, and (3) pair call characteristics with hormonal candidate correlates, and statistically analyze whether a correlation exists. This work will shed light on both acoustic and molecular factors key to interparental communication in a vertebrate model.