Dr Bhagya Herath, "Multidimensional complexity of communication signals of a model anuran" Sept 2021
Bhagya is a biologist and behavioural ecologist. She studied the calling behaviour and ecology of frogs in Sri Lanka and recently completed her PhD at La Trobe University where she investigated visual and acoustic communication by the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria fallax) which she presents in:
"Complexity of visual and vocal communication in the Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria fallax) among genetic, ecological and social constraints"
Complex communication systems are widespread among animals. To fully understand their functional and evolutionary significance, we must examine each dimension of communication together with possible genetic, environmental and ecological constraints. With the extensive use of acoustic signals, anurans are considered excellent models for studying the evolution of such communication systems. However, there is a lack of detailed knowledge on the communication systems of most Australian anurans. The Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, Litoria fallax, is a native Australian species with a broad distribution along the east coast, although has been introduced to Victoria. By undertaking extensive field work and playback studies, multiple levels of complexity in the species' communication behaviour (which is comprised of both acoustic and visual signals) were identified, with possible geographic variation. The talk will go further into how L. fallax can be a useful model system to disentangle the multiple factors affecting complex communication systems.