Positions

Overview

  • I am broadly interested in the evolutionary patterns and causal mechanism associated with animal behavior, with a more specific interest in communication behavior and mating systems; as such I find the use of insect models ideal for the questions that drive my investigations. The techniques used in my lab draw from the fields of bioacoustics, neuroscience, classic ethology, field ecology, electrical, mechanical and computer engineering, and spatial modelling. Research is conducted both in the laboratory, and at field sites in New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Nebraska and New Zealand. My current research is organized around three major themes: (1) The evolution of acoustic and vibrational signaling strategies in reproductive behavior; (2) The evolution of invertebrate sensory systems adapted for exploiting airborne and seismic signals; (3) The effects of stochastic ecological and environmental conditions on the evolution of communication systems and life history strategies. I use digital technologies to streamline classic ethological techniques, and combine insights from these basic investigations with functional and mechanistic studies of courtship behavior, sexual conflict, parental care, intra- and interspecific communication, and physiological correlates of fitness. I use the lek-mating prairie mole cricket (Gryllotalpa major), the Nicrophorine group of burying beetles, and the sexually-dimorphic New Zealand giant weta (Deinacrida spp.) as my main study models. A variety of research opportunities for students are available in my lab; please contact me if you are interested in learning more.
  • Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2019 Examining the Management of Rare Insects Through the Lens of Biotic Interactions: A Comparative Case Study of Nicrophorus americanus (Coleoptera: Silphidae) and Gryllotalpa major (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae)Annals of the Entomological Society of America.  112:158-168. 2019
    2018 Substrate-Borne Vibration Mediates Intrasexual Agonism in the New Zealand Cook Strait Giant Weta (Deinacrida rugosa)Journal of Insect Behavior.  31:599-615. 2018
    2018 Making high-stakes decisions in complex acoustic environments: Revisiting the Cocktail Party problem in a multimodal sensory contextJournal of the Acoustical Society of America.  143:1859-1859. 2018
    2018 Competition decreases with relatedness and lek size in mole crickets: a role for kin selection?Behavioral Ecology.  29:1067-1074. 2018
    2018 Environmental cues influence parental brood structure decisions in the burying beetle Nicrophorus marginatusJournal of Ethology.  36:55-64. 2018
    2016 Entomology at Small Liberal Arts CollegesAmerican Entomologist.  62:108-109. 2016
    2016 There and Back Again: Fostering Undergraduate Research in Insect Biology Within a Study-Abroad FrameworkAmerican Entomologist.  62:114-116. 2016
    2015 Marking by elytral clip changes stridulatory characteristics and reduces reproduction in the American burying beetle, Nicrophorus americanusJournal of Insect Conservation.  19:155-162. 2015
    2013 Description of Acoustic Characters and Stridulatory Pars Stridens of Nicrophorus (Coleoptera: Silphidae): A Comparison of Eight North American SpeciesAnnals of the Entomological Society of America.  106:661-669. 2013
    2011 Inhibition of microorganisms on a carrion breeding resource: the antimicrobial peptide activity of burying beetle (Coleoptera: Silphidae) oral and anal secretions.Environmental Entomology.  40:669-678. 2011
    2011 Are centrally displaying males always the centre of female attention? Acoustic display position and female choice in a lek mating subterranean insectEthology.  117:199-207. 2011
    2009 Burrow Aggregation of Prairie Mole Cricket, Gryllotalpa major Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) Males is Not Based on Soil Microhabitat Constraints at Lek Sites in OklahomaJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society.  82:122-134. 2009
    2009 Grassland Botanical Structure Influences Lek Spatial Organization in Gryllotalpa major S. (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae)American Midland Naturalist.  161:206-218. 2009
    2008 Hearing and spatial behavior in Gryllotalpa major Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae).Journal of Experimental Biology.  211:3613-3618. 2008
    2007 The Effect of Fire on Spatial Distributions of Male Mating Aggregations in Gryllotalpa Major Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae) at The Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in OklahomaJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society.  80:51-64. 2007
    2006 Morphology and calling song characteristics in Gryllotalpa major Saussure (Orthoptera: Gryllotalpidae)Journal of Orthoptera Research.  15:53-57. 2006

    Chapter

    Year Title
    2018 Shaking it up in the classroom: Coupling biotremology and active learning pedagogy to promote authentic discovery 2018

    Conference Proceeding

    Year Title
    A longitudinal study of teaching methodology and content learning in introductory biology: Does method matter?Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science. 397-397.
    Daily activity pattern and circadian rhythm in a Nicrophorine burying beetle (Nicrophorus marginatus)Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science. 381-381.

    Teaching Activities

  • Animal Communication Taught course 2019
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2019
  • Honors Senior Thesis Taught course 2019
  • Intro Biol: Evol Biodiv & Ecol Taught course 2019
  • Behavior Research Methods Taught course 2019
  • Behavior Research Methods Taught course 2019
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2019
  • Animal Communication Taught course 2018
  • Contemporary Conservatn Issues Taught course 2018
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2018
  • Doctoral Dissertation Research Taught course 2018
  • General Ecology Taught course 2018
  • General Ecology Taught course 2018
  • General Ecology Taught course 2018
  • General Ecology Taught course 2018
  • General Ecology Taught course 2018
  • Behavior Research Methods Taught course 2017
  • Rsrch Exp/Biological Sciences Taught course 2017
  • General Ecology Taught course 2017
  • General Ecology Taught course 2017
  • General Ecology Taught course 2017
  • General Ecology Taught course 2017
  • General Ecology Taught course 2017
  • Animal Communication Taught course 2016
  • Animal Communication Taught course 2016
  • Education And Training

  • A.A. Liberal Arts&Sci/Liberal Study, Coll of The Sequoias
  • M.S., Northeastern State University
  • Ph.D. Biology, Univ of Tulsa
  • Full Name

  • Daniel Howard