In her studies of the zebra finch, Amanda Houck is examining females' mate-selection to determine whether their selection criteria are influenced by other females. An early grant from the Arts & Sciences Office of Graduate Studies and Research helped to fund this research.
Amanda, who is pursuing an M.S. degree in biology, explained "The grant helped to fund the very beginning of my graduate research and gave me the writing experience I needed to apply for larger regional and national grants. I'm very happy and pleased that the College of William and Mary respects and takes pride in their graduates, as well as their undergraduates, to fund them in their research."
Her study fills a research gap, as this kind of repeatability experiment has not yet been performed over a consistent time period with this monogamous species. If the females do indeed copy other females' mate-selection criteria, there are implications for the rapid evolution of display traits such as feather coloration and courtship behavior in this population
Research and Travel Awards Established to Support Graduate Students
Research and travel awards from the Office of Graduate Studies and Research help to pay for expenses that A&S graduate students incur while pursuing their research, including supplies and travel to museums, archives, and professional conferences. Students often leverage these early grants to obtain full funding from outside grant agencies.
Your support for graduate student research wil make a difference.
You can contribute online now using our secure web server. For more information, please contact Arts & Sciences Development at 757-221-7737.