Our research focuses on the neurobiology of animal communication signals, their development, endocrine control, and evolutionary context.
We use weakly electric fish as our model system. These fish generate and detect electric fields in the water as a means of communicating and imaging their world. These electric organ discharges (EODs) are a direct result of ionic activity in the cells of a specialized electric organ. We investigate how changes in EOD waveform arise at the molecular and ionic level, how changes in EOD waveform transform the communication function of the signal, and how environmental, energetic, and evolutionary constraints have shaped the functional characteristics of electric organ cells.