Sexual signal evolution and the noise that reshapes receiver preferences

Zoom (email for link)

Across animal taxa, signaling mediates interactions that have important fitness consequences for individuals. Receivers often use signals to detect and discriminate among appropriate mates, and thereby impose selection on signalers. Intense research effort has been invested in measuring receiver preferences, usually by means of controlled laboratory experiments that eliminate noise. However, noise – broadly defined as anything that impairs signal detection and discrimination – is an intrinsic part of communication systems and has important consequences for signal evolution. This seminar will focus on how noise reshapes receiver behavior under natural conditions, that is, when signals are multivariate, signalers behave inconsistently, and communication takes place in socially complex environments.

Dr. Tanner is being considered for a faculty position within the Division of Biological Sciences. This public seminar is part of the interview process.

Speaker Information

Dr. Jessie Tanner
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Biology
Centre for Evolutionary Biology
University of Western Australia