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NSU Alumnus Dr. Sullivan Beckers to Lecture

By Dustin Woods
NSU Staff Writer

Students at Northeastern State University will have an opportunity to attend a lecture anchored by a returning alumnus.

“Dr. Laura Sullivan Beckers had indicated to Dr. Mia Revels that she would be willing to make the trip back to Northeastern," said Dr. John de Banzie, NSU professor of Biology. "Her research is current and interesting, so this was too good an opportunity to pass up.”

Beckers graduated from Northeastern in 2002 with a bachelor of science degree and went on to pursue her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri where she studied treehopper bird song under Dr. Reginald Cocroft. Today she is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“The year before I started the bachelor of science at NSU, I spent many hours listening to and watching birds in the parks and reserves around Tulsa," Beckers said. "This pastime developed into a full-blown career thanks in part to the encouragement of Dr. Mia Revels at NSU."

Becker's research focuses on the evolution of animal communication and behaviors.

“Currently, I am investigating how learning and memory influence female mate choice and male display behavior, as well as the role of seismic signaling in female mating decisions in wolf spiders,” she said.

The lecture, “Sex, Bugs, and Rock 'n' Roll: The Evolution of Mating Behaviors in Two Arthropods,” is Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. in the Science Building, Room 160. All students who are intellectually curious are invited, de Banzie said.

“Lectures like this allow our students as well as the community to hear about active research projects and become more informed about how science is carried out,” de Banzie said. ”I hope that some students might be excited by the research and be encouraged to consider research as a career option.” 

Published: 2/2/2010 10:09:44 AM

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