• Title Professor of Biology; Professor of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Education PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
  • Web Address http://sites.bu.edu/warkentinlab/
  • Phone 617-358-2385
  • Area of Interest phenotypic plasticity; the integration of ecology, development, behavior, physiology, and evolution; embryos as organisms; life history switch points; substrate vibration as an information channel; herpetology; tropical biology; sex, gender and sexuality
  • CV

Current Research

Research in my laboratory examines developing organisms in an ecological context. We study hatching as a critical life history transition point, focusing on the ability of animals to facultatively alter when they leave the egg in response to changing risks to and opportunities for embryos and larvae. Our research integrates ideas and techniques from ecology, behavior, and physiology, developmental and evolutionary biology, and mechanical engineering. We also use embryos to ask questions about animal behavior.

We work in the Neotropics on red-eyed treefrogs, hourglass treefrogs, and glassfrogs, representing three lineages of frogs that independently evolved arboreal eggs and retained aquatic tadpoles, and on foam-nesting frogs that vary in terrestriality of eggs. Our work addresses ecology, evolution, and mechanisms of plasticity, interactions of embryos with predators and parents, and developmental changes in embryo behavior.

Selected Publications

  • Warkentin KM, Cuccaro Diaz J, Güell BA, Jung J, Kim SJ, Cohen KL (2017) Developmental onset of escape-hatching responses in red-eyed treefrogs depends on cue type. Animal Behaviour. 129: 103–112. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2017.05.008.
  • Delia J, Bravo-Valencia L, Warkentin KM. (2017) Patterns of parental care in Neotropical glassfrogs: fieldwork alters hypotheses of sex-role evolution. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. DOI: 10.1111/jeb.13059.
  • Cohen KL, Seid MA, Warkentin KM (2016) How embryos escape from danger: the mechanism of rapid, plastic hatching in red-eyed treefrogs. Journal of Experimental Biology. 219: 1875-1883. DOI: 10.1242/jeb.139519.
  • Touchon JC, McCoy MW, Landberg T, Vonesh JR, Warkentin KM (2015) Putting µ/g in a new light: plasticity in life-history switch points reflects fine-scale adaptive responses. Ecology. 96: 2192-2202.
  • Willink B, Palmer MS, Landberg T, Vonesh JR, Warkentin KM (2014) Environmental context shapes immediate and cumulative costs of risk-induced early hatching. Evolutionary Ecology. 28: 103-116.
  • Touchon JC, McCoy MW, Vonesh JR, Warkentin KM (2013) Effects of hatching plasticity carry over through metamorphosis in red-eyed treefrogs. Ecology 94: 850-860.
  • Gomez-Mestre I, Warkentin KM (2013) Risk-induced hatching timing shows low heritability and evolves independently of spontaneous hatching in red-eyed treefrogs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26: 1079-1089.
  • Warkentin KM (2011) Environmentally cued hatching across taxa: Embryos respond to risk and opportunity. Integrative and Comparative Biology 51: 14-25.

Courses Taught:

  • BI 506 Phenotypic Plasticity
  • BI 416/616 Herpetology
  • BI 581/582 Seminar in Biology
  • WS101 Gender and Sexuality I: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

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