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CASEY COOMES

PhD Candidate
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Tennessee Knoxville

 

About

I am a PhD Candidate in Dr. Elizabeth Derryberry's lab in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. My research examines the effects of heat stress on animal behavior. Specifically, I focus on communication and mate choice in songbirds.

 

Grants and Awards

  • 2018 Animal Behavior Society Student Research Grant

  • 2018 SICB Grant in Aid of Research

  • 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

  • 2016 Tulane University Departmental Grant

  • 2016 GRFP Honorable Mention

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My Research

Impacts of heat stress on communication in songbirds

While much research has focused on the effects of increased temperatures due to climate change in ectotherms, these effects in endotherms have been widely ignored. My aim is to explore how heat stress influences a well-studied communication system in endotherms: bird song. My dissertation research explores how rising temperatures affect male song and female mate choice in zebra finches.

Parental care in house sparrows

While in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Fox at Transylvania University, I studied the effects of neophobia (fear of novel objects) on parental care in house sparrows.

 

Publications

 

Elevated temperatures reduce discrimination between conspecific and heterospecific sexual signals

January 2019

Coomes, C, R Danner, and EP Derryberry. Elevated temperatures reduce discrimination between conspecific and heterospecific sexual signals. Animal Behaviour. January 2019.

Simulated heat wave reduces cognitive and behavioral performance of an endotherm

in prep

R Danner, C Coomes, and EP Derryberry. Simulated heat wave reduces cognitive and behavioral performance of an endotherm. In prep for Functional Ecology. 

Outreach

As a graduate student, I have many exciting opportunities to engage with the local community, be a mentor, and share my research.

 

Community Engagement

While at Tulane University, I designed and led workshops for an event called Girls in STEM at Tulane (GiST), a program for middle school girls in New Orleans. In our workshop "Thermal Image-ination," we taught about scientific concepts such as climate change and thermoregulation. In addition, students were encouraged to use the scientific method through making hypotheses and predictions and running experiments.

Conferences

I've shared my research with colleagues through presentations at conferences. Presentations include:

  • Coomes, C, R Danner, and E Derryberry. Does thermal stress influence mate selection? Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans, LA, January 2017


  • Coomes, C, R Danner, and E Derryberry. Does thermal stress influence mate selection? North American Ornithological Conference, Washington D.C., August 2016

Contact Me

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Dabney Hall
1416 Circle Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996

 
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