Susan GershmanPh.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
M.S. (Zoology) Washington State University 1999
B.A. (Anthropology) Johns Hopkins University 1992
Research interests: My main interests are sexual selection, sexual conflict and behavioral ecology / ethology. I am currently doing experiments on crickets that measure encapsulation, an immune response to internal foreign objects. By experimentally implanting foreign objects in male crickets, I can compare the immune response of males that have successfully mated versus unmated males. My prediction is that males will divert some of their immune effort to courtship and spermatophore production, and will encapsulate foreign objects to a lesser degree than unmated males.
In the longer term, I am interested in sexual conflict and female remating in crickets. Male and female crickets are unlike other taxa that are more commonly studied in the context of sexual conflict because they do not inflict significant collateral damage on one another. I would like to study the benefits and costs of female remating in several local species of orthopterans.
Gershman, S. N. and Verrell, P. A. 2002. To persuade or be persuaded: Which sex controls mating in a plethodontid salamander. Behaviour (in press)