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Dr. Randy Hunt

Professor of Biology

Life Sciences 322
Phone: (812) 941-2380
rhunt01@ius.edu

Biography

How biologists determine what is or is not a distinct species is one of the more difficult problems in biology. This is especially true of cryptic species that are physically similar and differ only in the signals they use for mating behavior. Our research focuses on determining the possible existence of cryptic species in the leafhopper genus Erythroneura. There are 54 recognized species within this group of insects based on physical appearance. Most species live on redbud trees (Cercis canadensis) or grape plants (Vitis riparia). One species, Erythroneura comes, is an important pest of cultivated grapes and a few species are known to damage redbud. No studies have examined the mating behavior of any species in this genus. Our preliminary analysis of vibrational mating signals emitted by individuals from several populations in Indiana and Kentucky suggests that many unrecognized species may exist. Undergraduate students are involved in measuring variation in male mating signals and conducting mating experiments aimed at detecting and verifying the existence of these cryptic species.

Academic Background

  • Postdoctoral Fellow

    • University of Kentucky
    • TBD
  • Doctorate

    • The Ohio State University
    • Doctorate
  • Masters

    • Kent State University
    • Master of Science
  • Bachelors

    • Kent State University
    • Bachelor of Science

Professional Interests

Teaching

Introduction to Biological Sciences, L102 Entomology, Z373, Z383 Evolution, L318 Insects and Humans Affairs, Honors 306 Animal Behavior, Z460

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Hunt, RE and TL Morton. (2001). Regulation of chorusing in the vibrational communication system of the leafhopper Graminella nigrifrons. American Zoologist, 41), 1222-1228.
  • Joyce, AL, RE Hunt, JS Bernal and SB Vinson. (2008). Substrate influences mating success and transmission of courtship vibrations for the parasitoid Cotesia marginiventris. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 127), 39-47.
  • Crocroft, RB, R Rodriguez, and RE Hunt. (2010). Host shifts and signal divergence: mating signals covary with host use in a complex of specialized plant-feeding insects. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 99), 60-72.
  • Joyce, AL, J. Bernal, V Vinson, RE Hunt A and S Fritz and R Midina. (20110). Geographic variation in male courtship acoustics and genetic divergence of populations of the Cotesia flavipes species complex. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 137), 153-164.

Books

  • RB Cocroft, R Rodriguez and RE Hunt. (2008). Host shifts, the evolution of communication, and speciation in the Enchenopa binotata species complex of treehoppers. In: K.J. Tilmon ed., Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation--The Evolutionary Biology of Herbivorous Insects. TBD: University of California Press.

Campus Events

IU Southeast Open House

IU Southeast Open House

October 21st, 2017

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Open Registration Begins for Spring 2018

Open Registration Begins for Spring 2018

October 30th, 2017

All day event

Deadline for Two-Step Login

Deadline for Two-Step Login

November 2nd, 2017

All day event

Thanksgiving Holiday - Campus Closed

Thanksgiving Holiday - Campus Closed

November 23rd, 2017

All day event

Thanksgiving Holiday - Campus Closed

Thanksgiving Holiday - Campus Closed

November 24th, 2017

All day event

Fall 2017 Classes End

Fall 2017 Classes End

December 2nd, 2017

All day event

Fall 2017 Final Exams Begin

Fall 2017 Final Exams Begin

December 4th, 2017

All day event

Fall 2017 Final Exams End

Fall 2017 Final Exams End

December 9th, 2017

All day event

Wintersession Classes Begin

Wintersession Classes Begin

December 14th, 2017

All day event

Christmas Holiday - Campus Closed

Christmas Holiday - Campus Closed

December 25th, 2017

All day event

New Year's Day Holiday - Campus Closed

New Year's Day Holiday - Campus Closed

January 1st, 2018

All day event

Wintersession 2017 Classes End

Wintersession 2017 Classes End

January 4th, 2018

All day event

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