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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Report

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The field of behavioral ecology has recently been reinvigorated by the addition of the notion of behavioral syndromes (a.k.a. animal personality). Behavioral syndromes imply the existence of individual variation in behavioral expression that is consistent across distinct functional contexts (e.g. foraging, mating, anti-predator). The syndromes paradigm suggests that the behavioral phenotype is best viewed as an integrated phenomenon wherein any given behavior can only be fully understood by studying selection pressures in all contexts. Here we report on a pilot study on behavioral syndromes in the Sagebrush cricket (Cyphoderrris strepitans), an acoustic Orthopteran insect that inhabits high altitude sagebrush meadows of Grand Teton National Park. The results of our preliminary analysis suggest very little consistent repeatability in the mating behavior of C. strepitans. In addition, we make note of the synergistic collaboration in our group between faculty researchers and graduate, undergraduate and high school research collaborators.