Ronald R. Hoy
Department of Neurobiology & Behavior
W214 Mudd Hall, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853 USA
phone :: (607) 254-4317
FAX :: (607) 254-1303
The main focus of the lab is the investigation of the biology of animal communication. The world of arthropods provides us with a rich source of experimental systems. We focus primarily on the biocommunication systems of insects and some members of the spider "family." Animals use a variety of communication signals, but we concentrate on their auditory and visual worlds: acoustic and visual signals, how signals are emitted, how they are processed by sensory systems, and how they have evolved. Thus, we study communication from several points of view, including neurobiology, anatomy, ethology, behavioral ecology, biomechanics, and evolution. Ours is an interdisciplinary lab and we keep things interesting by continually teaching and learning from each other.
While our work focuses on insects and spiders as study animals, our findings reflect general principles that apply as well to non-vertebrates as to invertebrates. The glory of biological evolution is that it has produced many kinds of animals each of which has its own way of adapting to its environment. In spite of this wonderful diversity, in terms of most basic functions and principles, there is only one biology (at least some of us think so, anyway).
The emphasis here is on our research, but part of the lab is dedicated
to the production of innovative teaching materials to enhance undergraduate
biology education and you will find links to these projects, as well.
CURRENT RESEARCH : Neuroanatomy of the visual system of twisted-winged parasites. Neuroanatomy and function of visual system of stalk eyed flies. Neurophysiology of acoustic and visual integration in parasitoid flies. Categorical perception in crickets using psychoacoustic paradigms.
CRAWDAD : Development of neurophysiology lab exercises using invertebrates
flydad : Project Fruitfly will develop teaching tools and lab exercises to explore which will focus the relationship between genes and behavior through neurogenetic research on Drosophila melanogaster and its many neurobehavioral mutants.