The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How's the research going?

People keep asking me how the research is going. It's going decently well. I have been doing a series of experiments to determine whether or not male crickets have a preference for novel versus previous partners. If males have a preference, I would like to determine whether they use the same type of self-referential cuticular hydrocarbon cues as females, or perhaps use other cues entirely. I just finished an experiment to determine whether males preferentially court novel versus previous partners in a 2-choice design with dead females (to prevent the females from contributing their opinion--we know that females prefer novel males). The answer is no, males do not devote more courtship to novel females.
I am also looking at whether males allocate more resources to spermatophores (nutritive gifts and/or sperm capsules) when females are novel. I have already completed a version of this experiment, but I was not entirely happy with it, so I am changing the protocols and trying again.
If nothing pans out with the males, I have another series of experiments on the back burner.
This week one of my manuscripts came out in Ethology, however, I still have three (or four) more manuscripts that I have to get published somewhere. I spend most of my days watching crickets having sex or working on manuscripts. I am enjoying being focussed on research rather than splitting my time among a dozen different obligations.

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