Several pieces of good news to report have been building up over the past few weeks.
Some key papers have been accepted.
•Carrasco, M.F. and D.T. Blumstein. 2012. Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) respond to yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) alarm calls. Ethology. Malle was an REU fellow last summer and this paper shows that mule deer pay attention to marmot calls. I think this is really neat because it shows that animals have effects on other species through their vocalizations and the idea of interspecific communication is a topic that needs much more work.
•Olson, L.E., Blumstein, D.T., Pollinger, J.P., and R.K. Wayne. 2012. Beneficial inbreeding: yellow-bellied marmots do not discriminate against mating with relatives. Molecular Ecology. This is the final chapter from Lucretia's dissertation that surprisingly shows that male marmots do better NOT trying to avoid inbreeding with close relatives.
•Pollard, K.A., and D.T. Blumstein. 2012. Evolving communicative complexity: insights from rodents and beyond. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Kim and I have been continuing our thoughts about how complex communication evolves and this paper stems from a symposium talk that we gave at the animal behavior society meetings this past summer.
•Matt passed his oral qualifying exam.
•We've also (thanks to Jenn's leadership and a lot of work on Rachel's part) just extracted all of our 2011 cort samples and are in the process of sending them off for a radioimmunoassay.
So, some good news all around.