Frog Vision

As an interface between the environment and the organism, vision plays a pivotal role in shaping ecological characteristics and complex behaviors, such as mate choice and species recognition. Thus, understanding how visual systems function and evolve can provide vital insight into the diversity of ecological transitions that have occurred across the animal tree of life. Frog vision is dramatically understudied and we know details of the visual systems for very few of the >6,600 extant species that have evolved over 265 million years. Investigating vision systems in frogs is a new and exciting trajectory for the lab, and with my collaborators Dr. Rayna Bell (Curator of Amphibians at the Smithsonian Institute) and Dr. Jeffrey Streicher and Dr. David Gower (Herpetology curators at the Natural History Museum of London), we will examine the functional, genomic, and molecular evolutionary histories of frog vision from recent to tree-of-life timescales using microspectrophotometry, transcriptome and exome sequencing, and morphological analysis of the eye. This multi-year project was recently funded by the National Science Foundation.

Figure 1 Full Proposal