Darwin Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2011-2012
PERT Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arizona, 2008-2011
Ph.D. University of California, Davis, Animal Behavior, 2008
M.S. University of California, Davis, Animal Behavior, 2004
B.A. Brown University, Biology, 2001
Anne Leonard studies the evolutionary ecology of communication in plant-pollinator and sexual selection contexts. Many organisms produce signals that span multiple sensory modalities, despite the costs and risks of producing complex and conspicuous displays. What benefit does a multi-component signal provide senders and/or receivers? How are these complex signals learned and used by receivers? Her research addresses these basic questions in sensory and cognitive ecology across a range of systems and scenarios, often guided by signal detection theory and neuroeconomic frameworks. Past projects have explored the role of multimodal signals in cricket mate choice, the interactive effects of floral stimuli on bumble bee learning, and decision-making by crab spiders while searching for mates. Ongoing research addresses the nutritional ecology of floral rewards, signal evolution in pollination mutualisms, and prey choice by jumping spiders under conditions of uncertainty.