We study the evolution of communication and its role in divergence, speciation and social behavior. Our study animals are plant-feeding insects. Social and ecological interactions among herbivorous insects often involve substrate-borne vibrations, so we also investigate the important features of this widespread but under-studied form of communication. Furthermore, because mechanical vibrations provide information about the activity of plant-dwelling arthropods, we have recently begun investigating the plant’s ability to perceive herbivore-generated vibrations and respond adaptively to them.
Our main areas of research are: