Erin Brandt

Office: Anatomy Bldg #303A

I am a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Nirody lab, starting September 2023. My primary interests are animal communication, sexual selection, and locomotion, using spiders and insects as study organisms. I use methods and approaches from evolution, behavioral ecology, biomechanics, and physiology, to ask questions at the intersections of these fields to better understand how animals function and evolve within their milieu of constraints.

My doctoral work was at UC Berkeley with Damian Elias, studying how temperature affects courtship behavior, locomotion, and metabolism in desert jumping spiders. I then worked as a Postdoctoral Associate with Natasha Mhatre at Western University to understand biophysical constraints of production and perception of sound and vibration in crickets and spiders.

In the Nirody lab, I am working on projects involving fly walking locomotion and spider jumping locomotion. I am particularly interested in understanding the interactions between locomotion and communication behaviors such as courtship.

Academic history

    Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Nirody Lab, Department of Organismal Biology and Anatomy, University of Chicago

    Postdoctoral Associate
    • Mhatre Lab, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario

    PhD, Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management
    • University of California, Berkeley

    MS, Biology
    • Portland State University

    BA, Biological Sciences
    • Michigan Technological University

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