Our research is broadly classified into three categories: animal communication, behavioral drive, and axes of divergence.
The main focus of the Leal Lab is on behavioral and evolutionary ecology, with a particular interest in lizards. We are primarily interested in elucidating the mechanisms shaping the evolution of behavioral traits and the possible role of behavior in promoting species diversity. To achieve these goals, we take a diversity of approaches integrating behavioral, ecological, neurophysiological, and physiological studies within an evolutionary framework. Whenever possible, our research combines laboratory and field studies. Currently, our research focuses on the evolutionary radiation of West Indian anoles.
Awards and Honors
Richard F. and Sharon A. Keister Faculty Enhancement Award in Biological Sciences 2021
Outstanding Departmental Contribution Award, MU Office of Graduate Studies, 2020