Date of Award

5-10-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Dr. Edmund Rodgers

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Grober

Third Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Sylvester

Abstract

Bi-parental care and pair bonding often coincide in nature. The reproductive success of the organisms that apply this strategy is dependent upon defensive behaviors and territorial aggression. Some of these organisms also display affiliative behavior within the pair pond during the time of parental care. The behavioral dynamics that occur over the course of the pair bond and their relationship to the reproductive success of the organism is not well understood. Convict cichlids (Amatitlania siquia) form pair bonds during the breeding season and provide bi-parental care; their behavioral repertoire is ideal for studying pair bonding. The androgen profile of organisms that provide parental care through aggressive means is also not fully understood. We provide a context based comparative view of the role of behavior and androgens in the pair bonds of these organisms. Observations were conducted in both the lab and the field; samples of 11-ketotestosterone (KT) were collected from the males. We found that there is an effect of fry stage on the behavior of the parent. Data suggests that there is some effect of fry stage on androgen levels in males.

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