Lab News!

January 18, 2016
Amazing news: I (Ned) just found out that I won the Animal Behavior Society's "Outstanding New Investigator Award"! This is a huge honor from my "home" society, though the list of former recipients is rather intimidating company!

November 24, 2015

Jeff Berens successfully defended his thesis "Morphological differences and diversity of small mammal species"! Jeff gave a great presentation and did a fantastic job presenting the results of his hard work characterizing morphological differences between Peromyscus leucopus and P. maniculatus. Jeff also already has a job lined up!

October 27, 2015
Our paper with Kendra Greenlee's lab looking at the integration of behavioral and phenotypic integration was released on the Animal Behaviour website! (link)

August 15, 2015
The Evolutionary Ecology of Variation Lab has two new members! Courtney Garrison has joined the lab as a M.Sc. student (well, is continuing in the lab) and Monica Berdal has joined the lab as a Ph.D. student. Courtney started working with us during the Fall and Spring semesters last year working on cricket research and Monica is joining us from NTNU (Norway) where she earned an M.Sc. under Jon Wright.

July 13, 2015
Lynn will be presenting the results of her summer research at the summer program's exit symposium.
UPDATE: Lynn's poster won first place! (picture)

June 10 - 15, 2015
Ned and Raph will be presenting at the annual Animal Behavior Society meeting, this year in Anchorage, Alaska!

May 19, 2015
Lynn Holloway joined the lab for the summer as part of NDSU's summer STEM program. Lynn's joining us from Virginia State University where she's a biology major. Lynn has previously studied the behavior of poison dart frogs and various lizards (hopefully crickets aren't too much of a let down!).

April 29, 2015

Katie successfully defended her thesis, congrats Katie!

February 29, 2015
Raph's paper on behavioral variation and insecticides was published by Functional Ecology (link)!

January 17, 2015
Tori's first paper with (Ned and Andy Sih) came out in Proc B!

January 11-16, 2015
Ned participated in conducting a workshop on statistical characterization of multivariate phenotypes. The workshop was organized jointly by the International Max Planck Research School and NTNU's Center for Biodiversity Dynamics.

November 20, 2014
Ned gave a seminar at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology entitled "Understanding contributions to behavioral variation and correlations".

August 8, 2014
Ned's paper with Niels Dingemanse (link) about how behavioral syndromes can act as evolutionary constraints was awarded the Pitelka Prize for Excellence in Research by the ISBE (link)! The winning paper can be found here.

August 1, 2014
Ned talked briefly about kangaroo mice and kangaroo rats on NPR's Science Friday (link)!

July 7, 2014
Ned's paper with Chris Gienger (link) and Shane Zappattini on frequency selection and handedness in combat sports was accepted by Animal Behaviour!

July 7, 2014
As part of the lab's ongoing collaborative research with Ann Hedrick (link), we've launched the website Evolving Crickets. Evolving Crickets will eventually be used to host videos for ethogram assignments in behavior classes and simulation programs for looking at the effects of correlational selection.

June 25, 2014
Ned and Andy Nelson's paper "Multiple facets of exploratory behavior in house crickets (Acheta domesticus): Split personalities or simply different behaviors?" was accepted for publication in Ethology. This is the lab's first cricket paper!

June 6-10, 2014
Katie Preston and Jeff Berens are presenting posters at the 94th annual meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists in Oklahoma City (link). Jeff's poster is entitled "Morphological differences within and among Peromyscus species"; Katie's is "How are population variability, density dependence, and extinction risk related in mammals?".

May 15, 2014
Raphaël Royauté (link) has joined the lab as a postdoctoral researcher! Raphael comes to NDSU from McGill University where he studied personality variation and behavioral syndromes in spiders.

April 2, 2014
Ned's paper with Cynthia Downs (link) on the use of mixed-effects models for understanding trade-offs and correlations in ecoimmunology has been accepted by Integrative and Comparative Biology.

March 28, 2014
Katie's Policy Fellowship from ASM was recognized on the NDSU webpage (link)!

March 15, 2014
"Quantitative genetics in the wild", which includes a chapter by Dingemanse & Dochtermann, is now available on Amazon (link).

March 7, 2014
Ned is giving a talk as part of the UC Davis Animal Behavior Graduate Group Seminar Series (link)

March 1, 2014
Katie Preston has been selected as a Student Science Policy Fellow by the American Society of Mammalogists and will be visiting policymakers and agency officials in April. Great job Katie!
Research in the Evolutionary Ecology of Variation lab group focuses on the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of phenotypic and genotypic variation. 

Primary topics we address includes
identifying i) what factors maintain within-population behavioral variation, ii) how and why the behavioral responses of individuals are correlated, and iii) the evolutionary and ecological consequences of this variation and behavioral covariance. Within this framework considerable attention has been given to the study of behavioral correlations, typically under the label “behavioral syndromes” or "animal personalities. Our research into syndromes/personalities is directed toward asking general questions grounded in ecological and evolutionary theory.

Beyond just behavior, the presence of within-population phenotypic variation has been found to strongly affect population dynamics. This continuing area of interest nicely dovetails with other topics, expanding research in the lab general ecological questions. In particular we are initiating projects examining small mammal population and community dynamics in tall grass prairie systems.

Check out the Publications page for an idea about the general types of questions in which the Evolutionary Ecology of Variation lab group is interested.

Dr. Ned A. Dochtermann

Assistant Professor (2012- )
Department of Biological Sciences; North Dakota State University

Postdoctoral Researcher (2009-2012) Department of Biology;
University of Nevada, Reno.

Ph.D. (2009) Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology;
University of Nevada, Reno.

M.Sc. (2005) University of California, Davis.

B.Sc. (1999) University of California, Davis.