Dr. Alejandro Moyaho. (Curriculum Vitae)
My interests include the inmediate causes and the functional significance of behaviour. Specifically, I am interested in the geographical variation in sexually dimorphic traits in viviparous fish (goodeines) and stereotyped behaviours in rats. I would like to be able to understand population variation in colour pattern in male fish (Xenotoca variata, figure 1) and the role of external stimuli on yawning and grooming behaviour in rats from ecological, behavioural and physiological principles. My approach combines field observations and experimental manipulation in laboratory.
My students and I are interested in how environmental factors favour divergence in male fish traits among populations, and what environmental factors affect yawning in rats. The basic questions are:
1. How does visual contrast influence the outcome of female mate choice and male-male competition in X. variata?
2. How does the interplay between physiological mechanisms and environmental factors influence the frequency of yawning in laboratory rats?
We use methods from animal behaviour, ecology, environmental biophysics and physiological pharmacology.Currently we are obtaining reflectance of colour patterns (i.e., mosaics of patches which vary in size, shape, brightness and colour) on male fish (X. variata), water transmittance and ambient light measurements. We do this by using spectroradiometry techniques. In the lab we are testing hypotheses about the influence of social stimuli on yawning frequency in rats.