Theis awarded NSF grant
Kevin Theis, Ph.D, a research associate in the department of microbiology and molecular genetics, has been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation grant to study the role of bacteria in hyena paste and scent markings. Theis is a former Zoology doctoral student who has worked closely with professor Kay Holekamp studying hyena social behavior. Theis is now a researcher in Dr. Thomas Schmidt's laboratory.
His proposal, "A Symbiotic Approach to the Study of Animal Communication," postulates that symbiotic bacteria are responsible for producing odorants that contribute critical, information-rich components in the scent markings of the spotted hyena. This chemical communication system underlies the deep social complexity of the spotted hyena. Using a combination of chemical analysis, molecular microbial surveys, and behavioral assays, Theis continues to explore this fascinating but relatively untapped, area of research.
Please join us in congratulating Kevin!