Dr. H. Roberta Koepfer
Ph.D.(City University of New York )
Office: 102 ("E" Bldg.) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The behavior of an animal contributes significantly to its ability to survive and reproduce. In order to understand a behavioral trait, we must throughly describe the behavior and analyze its anatomical, physiological and genetic bases. Since activity doesn't occur in a vacuum, complete understanding of any behavioral character also requires information regarding the current ecology and evolutionary history of the organisms displaying it.
Fruit flies, Drosophila, inhabit many different ecological niches, and exhibit numerous morphological and behavioral traits. My work has concentrated on courtship interactions in certain species of Drosophila, primarily those from the tropics. The courtship interaction, and subsequent fertilization, depend upon a male-female communication system composed of species-specific signals and responses. The cues in this signal-response chain may be auditory, tactile, visual or olfactory. The stimuli comprising the male courtship repertoire are presented with haracteristic frequency, speed and persistence. By uncovering the genetic and physiological bases for these cues, we also help to elucidate the role that sexual behavior plays in the evolution of species.
1991 Koepfer, H.R. and E. Fenster. Asymmetrical mating patterns between geographic strains of Drosophila mercatorum: A test of the Kaneshiro hypothesis. Evolution 45: 455-458.
1987 Koepfer, H.R. Selection for sexual isolation between geographic forms of Drosophila mojavensis. II. Effects of selection on mating preference and propensity. Evolution 41: 1409-1413.
1987 Koepfer, H.R. Selection for sexual isolation between geographic forms of Drosophila mojavensis. I. Interactions between the selected forms. Evolution 41: 37-48.