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Records Of The Red-Bellied Snake (Storeria Occipitomaculata) In Central And Northeastern Nebraska, Taylor Lowe, Sarah M. Bailey, Dan D. Fogell, Keith Geluso 2024 University of Nebraska at Kearney

Records Of The Red-Bellied Snake (Storeria Occipitomaculata) In Central And Northeastern Nebraska, Taylor Lowe, Sarah M. Bailey, Dan D. Fogell, Keith Geluso

Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences and Affiliated Societies

Red-bellied Snakes (Storeria occipitomaculata) are a distinctive, small species that live in moist woodlands throughout much of eastern North America. In the Great Plains, isolated populations exist in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska. In Nebraska, the only known extant population occurs in wooded riparian habitats along the Big Bend Reach of the Platte River in southcentral parts of the state. Herein, we report on new county records of Red-bellied Snakes in Nebraska, with two observations from Merrick County along the Platte River adjacent to known populations and two observations of a new population in the extreme northeastern part …


Microplastic Accumulation In The Marsh Periwinkle (Littoraria Irrorata), Sarah Keaton, Hannah Lukhard, Eli Windy, Manar Hasan 2024 DePaul University

Microplastic Accumulation In The Marsh Periwinkle (Littoraria Irrorata), Sarah Keaton, Hannah Lukhard, Eli Windy, Manar Hasan

DePaul Discoveries

Contamination of oceans by microplastics (mm) currently poses a major threat to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Recent attention towards this issue has raised questions about the extent to which microplastics have accumulated in the environment, and has led to an increase in studies on the effects of microplastics in various organisms. However, levels of contamination in protected natural areas are still largely unexplored, yet can offer an important empirical perspective on the issue. In addition, little is known about the potential effects of microplastics on behavior in the field. This research was conducted within the protected ACE Basin National …


Wildlife Conservation: The Importance Of Individual Personality Traits And Sentience, Karen A. Owens, Gosia Bryja, Marc Bekoff 2024 Miami University

Wildlife Conservation: The Importance Of Individual Personality Traits And Sentience, Karen A. Owens, Gosia Bryja, Marc Bekoff

Animal Sentience

Individual differences in personality types within the same species have been studied much less than differences between species and populations. Personality differences are related to risk-taking and exploration, which in turn correlate with individuals' daily responses, decisions, and fitness. Bold and shy personality types can have different advantages and disadvantages under different social or environmental pressures. Analyzing personality differences has helped clarify how elk habituate to a well-populated area and how management strategies can be adapted to them. For wolves newly repatriated to Colorado, individual personality factors are likely to prove important for adapting to their new homes as well …


Designing Sustainable Systems Using Nature’S Toolbox, Matthew J. Hasenjager 2024 University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Designing Sustainable Systems Using Nature’S Toolbox, Matthew J. Hasenjager

Faculty Publications and Other Works -- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Supporting the Earth’s human population without destabilizing planetary processes is the central challenge of sustainability science. Key to achieving this goal is designing systems that are robust and resilient to dynamic and unpredictable conditions. Bioinspiration leverages naturally evolved solutions to address such challenges, yet a solution derived from one-to-one correspondence between a natural and artificial challenge can be limited in its broader application. Here we advocate for an approach to nature-inspired design that forgoes mimicking specific solutions in favor of identifying general design features that enable natural systems to function. These features are not specific to any naturally evolved solution …


Do American Bison Practice Democracy? Group Consensus Decision Making Drives Bison Herd Movements And Cohesion., Matthew Sapien 2024 University of Louisville

Do American Bison Practice Democracy? Group Consensus Decision Making Drives Bison Herd Movements And Cohesion., Matthew Sapien

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The American bison is an iconic mammal that lives in large social herds and is considered a threatened species. Little is known about how bison make decisions as a group, whether through despotic individuals or group consensus. In this dissertation, I researched the mechanisms bison use to make herd movement decisions in 3 herds in the United States. In chapter one I examined the number of bison that participated in voting events for herd movement decisions and whether the final movement decision matched the direction with the most votes. Bison herd movements did match the direction with the most adult …


Analyzing Phototaxis And Related Visual Behaviors Among Diverse Species Of Drosophila, Madeline M. Hill 2024 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Analyzing Phototaxis And Related Visual Behaviors Among Diverse Species Of Drosophila, Madeline M. Hill

Honors Theses

Phototaxis and related visual behaviors can vary between species, and thus members of the genus Drosophila make an excellent study system to examine the evolution of vision. While some existing research points to these phototactic behaviors arising due to mating requirements or due to their species-specific ecology or environmental factors, there exists a lack of understanding as to why striking behavioral differences can exist between closely related species, or between members belonging to the same genus. The present research seeks to uncover the specifics regarding these discrepancies in visual evolution and aims to provide a foundation of knowledge about visual …


Effects Of Ecologically Relevant Concentrations Of Nitrate On Behavior In Betta Splendens, Sarah Janson 2024 University of Maine - Main

Effects Of Ecologically Relevant Concentrations Of Nitrate On Behavior In Betta Splendens, Sarah Janson

Honors College

Nitrate is a ubiquitous pollutant that is becoming more prevalent in both fresh and saltwater environments. Short term effects are often studied, but an organism’s response to stress can change due to whatever the stressor is. In order to research this, a study was run using environmentally relevant nitrate treatments (0 mg/L, 10 mg/L NO3-N, and 100 mg/L NO3-N) to see the effect of nitrate on scototaxis behaviors, a measure of anxiety. This study used Betta splendens because they are easy to rear and have very well documented behaviors. In addition to the scototaxis, the effect of temperature on mortality …


Does Urbanization Surrounding Stopping Sites Affect Migratory Behavior In American Woodcock (Scolopax Minor)?, Zoe Pavlik 2024 University of Maine - Main

Does Urbanization Surrounding Stopping Sites Affect Migratory Behavior In American Woodcock (Scolopax Minor)?, Zoe Pavlik

Honors College

Urban landscapes may influence bird species in complex ways, with some species exploiting urban environments, others adapting to them, and others avoiding them. Migratory birds encounter urbanization not just during breeding and overwintering, but also at stopping sites during migration. Migration routes of American Woodcock (Scolopax minor), a bird species experiencing long term population declines, follow the east coast of the United States, including the major urbanized areas of the eastern seaboard. I explored the effects of urbanization around stopping sites on Woodcock migratory behavior using the percentage of impervious surfaces within a buffer surrounding the site as a measure …


The Effects Of Length And Increasing Nitrate Concentrations On Behavior Of Betta Splendens, Tess Hureau 2024 University of Maine - Main

The Effects Of Length And Increasing Nitrate Concentrations On Behavior Of Betta Splendens, Tess Hureau

Honors College

Nitrates are an important compound in nature. However, through a number of human activities, nitrate concentrations have exponentially increased in nature. Most of the anthropogenic nitrates come from fertilizers, sewage water, and other wastewater. These nitrates contaminate the water which can get into lakes, rivers, ponds, and other natural bodies of water. Betta splendens are a well studied species in the animal behavior community. They have defined and quantifiable displays and characteristics during aggressive and mating ritual behavior. Betta splendens live in freshwater habitats that have most likely come in contact with the increased levels of nitrates. This study observed …


Behavioral Effects Of Nitrate On Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens): Female Mate Preference And Anxiety, Courtney Stow 2024 University of Maine - Main

Behavioral Effects Of Nitrate On Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta Splendens): Female Mate Preference And Anxiety, Courtney Stow

Honors College

In aquatic ecosystems, nitrate pollution due to anthropogenic activities has led to an increase in nitrate in water runoff and water resources. Nitrate is an essential component in the environment, especially for plant nutrients, but excess amounts can create water quality problems which can lead to serious consequences in humans and aquatic organisms. The effect of nitrate on organismal behavior is not well studied. The objective of this study was to examine how 96-h exposure to nitrate treatments (0, 10, 100ppm) modified female Betta splendens behavior, particularly mate preference for male color (e.g., red vs. blue males) and anxiety-like behavior. …


Bilateral Asymmetry In The First Metacarpal: The Influence Of Handedness In Humans And Non-Human Primates, Lucyna A. Bowland 2024 University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

Bilateral Asymmetry In The First Metacarpal: The Influence Of Handedness In Humans And Non-Human Primates, Lucyna A. Bowland

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Muscle attachment sites (entheses) are often used to infer soft tissue anatomy and reconstruct behaviors within skeletal populations, but there remains a significant debate about whether and to what degree muscle use is accurately reflected in bony morphology. One of the most difficult problems in establishing the relationship between variation in muscle use and entheseal development is the inability to exclude a variety of external factors thought to influence enthesis development, including age, sex, body mass, and activity patterns. One way around this is to take advantage of the fact that humans are handed (preferentially using one hand over another, …


Trophic Ecology Of Black Swallowers (Scombriformes: Chiasmodontidae: Chiasmodon) In The Deep-Pelagic Gulf Of Mexico, Travis J. Kirk 2024 Nova Southeastern University

Trophic Ecology Of Black Swallowers (Scombriformes: Chiasmodontidae: Chiasmodon) In The Deep-Pelagic Gulf Of Mexico, Travis J. Kirk

All HCAS Student Capstones, Theses, and Dissertations

The ecology of deep-pelagic predatory fishes remains poorly understood despite their importance as ecosystem regulators and energy transfer vectors. This study investigated the trophic ecology of three species of the predatory fish genus Chiasmodon (“black swallowers”) in the Gulf of Mexico, a region that serves as an analog for the global low-latitude deep pelagial, the world’s largest cumulative ecosystem. Foraging habits (e.g., selectivity, chronology, daily ration) of an “advanced” evolutionary fish in a system that is otherwise dominated by basal fish taxa, were quantitatively estimated via high-resolution stomach content analysis. A quantitative dataset of both predator and prey abundance, the …


Euhaplorchis Sp. A Effect On Social Behavior And Familiarity Of Gulf Killifish (Fundulus Grandis), Hannah Bauman 2024 Nova Southeastern University

Euhaplorchis Sp. A Effect On Social Behavior And Familiarity Of Gulf Killifish (Fundulus Grandis), Hannah Bauman

All HCAS Student Capstones, Theses, and Dissertations

Trophically transmitted parasites may manipulate their hosts’ phenotype (e.g., behavior, physiology, morphology) to increase the likelihood of transmission to the definitive host. In fishes, stable social groups develop familiarity over time through repeated interactions among individuals, and social preferences are often developed due to familiarity. Consequently, fishes often shoal with familiar fishes, a behavior that is likely to be protective against predation. Parasites may alter fish social dynamics in two ways: by decreasing association with familiar individuals, thereby isolating infected fish and making them more susceptible to predation by definitive hosts; and/or by incentivizing uninfected individuals to avoid infected fish …


Changes In Animal Vocalizations In Response To A Total Solar Eclipse, Colton W. Morris 2024 Arkansas Tech University

Changes In Animal Vocalizations In Response To A Total Solar Eclipse, Colton W. Morris

ATU Research Symposium

My proposed research project will study the changes in animal vocalizations in response to the total solar eclipse that will take place in Russellville, Arkansas, on April 8, 2024. I will use audio recordings before, during, and after the eclipse to quantify changes in animal vocalizations. Most recordings will be in the range of normal hearing, and will primarily detect birds, frogs, and insects. Additionally, I will deploy one ultrasonic recorder capable of detecting bats. From these recordings I will be able to quantify overall and species-specific call rates. Audio recordings will be paired with continuous measurements of light intensity …


Vigilance And Foraging Behaviors Of Two Sciurid Species Between College Campuses And Urban Environments, Patrick Geyer, Zoe Buffington, Lorelei E. Patrick 2024 Fort Hays State University

Vigilance And Foraging Behaviors Of Two Sciurid Species Between College Campuses And Urban Environments, Patrick Geyer, Zoe Buffington, Lorelei E. Patrick

SACAD: John Heinrichs Scholarly and Creative Activity Days

A comparison between the extent that sciurid specimens display vigilance and foraging behaviors on college campuses against specimens within urban environments. Observations of fox squirrels and western gray squirrels were taken from the Squirrel-Net behavioral database used for this project. We found there was a significant difference between the percent vigilance behaviors and foraging behaviors on college campuses compared to urban environments. This suggests that squirrels residing on college campuses are more desensitized to pedestrian activity and foot traffic compared to squirrels that inhabit urban areas.


Checking For Ticks: Analyzing The Efficiency Of Different Tick Collection Methods, Peter Briggs, Lawson Trimmell, Javier Monzón 2024 Pepperdine University

Checking For Ticks: Analyzing The Efficiency Of Different Tick Collection Methods, Peter Briggs, Lawson Trimmell, Javier Monzón

Seaver College Research And Scholarly Achievement Symposium

Ticks are the most important arthropod disease vectors in both North America and Europe. Field collection of wild ticks is vital for research on the ecology of vector-borne diseases. Dragging and trapping are the two most common methods for collecting wild ticks. Dragging involves a researcher pulling a canvas through a field to collect ticks searching for a host, while trapping exploits ticks’ natural attraction to carbon dioxide to lure them onto a canvas where they get caught on tape. Our study aimed to evaluate which of these two methods is more effective. We chose six sites across three states, …


Materials And Methods Developed For The Recording And Analysis Of Behavior In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus)., Christian Wintle 2024 University of Nebraska at Omaha

Materials And Methods Developed For The Recording And Analysis Of Behavior In The Common Marmoset (Callithrix Jacchus)., Christian Wintle

UNO Student Research and Creative Activity Fair

Materials and methods developed for the recording and analysis of behavior in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus).

Christian J. Wintlea, Jordan B. Hernandeza,b,c, Dobromir Dotovd, and Jonathan B. Claytona,b,e,f,g

aDepartment of Biology, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, USA

bNebraska Food for Health Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA

cDepartment of Genetics, Cell Biology, and Anatomy, University of Nebraska Medical Center, NE, USA

dDepartment of Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, USA

eDepartment of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, …


Effects Of Anthropogenic Noise On The Provisioning Behavior Of Western Bluebirds And Artificial Light At Night On Nestling Development, Kerstin H. Ozkan 2024 California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Effects Of Anthropogenic Noise On The Provisioning Behavior Of Western Bluebirds And Artificial Light At Night On Nestling Development, Kerstin H. Ozkan

Master's Theses

Sensory environments are rapidly changing due to increased human activity in urban and non-urban areas alike. For instance, background sounds can interfere with parent-offspring communication and mask cues reflective of predation risk, resulting in elevated vigilance at the cost of provisioning. In chapter 1, we studied nestling provisioning behavior among Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in response to short-term (1 hr) and long-term (continuous exposure throughout nesting period) noise exposure. Provisioning rates were lower at nests exposed to short-term experimental traffic noise compared to exposure to ambient background sounds. Trial order strongly influenced provisioning behavior, with the decline in …


Comparing Sucrose Preference Between Colonies Of Bombus Impatiens, Kevin R. Corrigan, Becky Hansis-O'Niell, Aimee Sue Dunlap 2024 University of Missouri-St. Louis

Comparing Sucrose Preference Between Colonies Of Bombus Impatiens, Kevin R. Corrigan, Becky Hansis-O'Niell, Aimee Sue Dunlap

Undergraduate Research Symposium

Current studies in nectar concentration preference generally take the form of a static laboratory experiment in which a multitude of feeders provide a constant source of nectar in differing concentrations and data is collected on which one is preferred most by bees. Studies like these are important because they seek to gain an understanding of bee foraging patterns. Having a strong biological understanding of these organisms better prepares us to combat issues regarding conservation should they occur. Here, we conduct an analysis on the foraging patterns of two colonies of Bombus impatiens (B. Impatiens) with data gathered from fixed ratio …


Eristalis Tenax Movement Behavior In Response To Light, Temperature, And Food, Jeffery J. Zheng, Zdena M. Janderova, Jason D. Lang 2024 University of North Georgia

Eristalis Tenax Movement Behavior In Response To Light, Temperature, And Food, Jeffery J. Zheng, Zdena M. Janderova, Jason D. Lang

Georgia Journal of Science

Drone flies, Eristalis tenax (Diptera: Syrphidae), are important generalist pollinators and visit flowers globally that range widely in color. The flies’ photoreceptors allow them to sense light wavelengths between 300-600 nm and E. tenax exhibit a positive phototactic response. To understand the effects of light on E. tenax movement, we conducted two-choice behavioral tests to determine their phototactic response to different wavelengths of light across the spectrum (ultraviolet to red light, plus full spectrum white light). The drone flies moved most and quickest toward sunlight, with almost twice the percentage of flies moving toward sunlight than toward black and …


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