The John J. Brander and Christine E. Rundblad Research Fellowship Program at the Milwaukee Public Museum seeks to stimulate fundamental research by scientists doing research on Wisconsin biodiversity or environmental issues, especially those that utilize and strengthen the natural science collections at MPM.
Dr. Nicolas Dowdy
Postdoc, Zoology Department, Milwaukee Public Museum
Research: Dr. Dowdy will be examining the latitudinal variation in anti-bat defenses in woolly bear moths (Pyrrharctia isabella). Bats are a major predator of moths. Woolly bear moths have responded by evolving the ability to answer bat ultrasonic calls with their own ultrasonic signals which disrupt or "jam" bat echolocation. Bat diversity and abundance vary throughout the range of woolly bear moths, with higher bat diversity at lower latitudes. Nick will be examining whether moth anti-bat sound production (jamming) varies with latitude.