Welcome!

The Solomon-Lane Lab is an integrative neuroscience and behavior lab in the Keck Science Department at Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges. We study the causes and consequences of individual variation in social behavior in a highly social fish. Take a look around to learn about the Lab and our research, and check back for updates!

News

July 17, 2019
Undergraduate researchers (left to right in picture below) Hannah Graves (CMC), Julia Weinstein (CMC), and Emily McCabe (Scripps) gave a fantastic presentation today at the Keck Brown Bag Lunch Series on their work: The effects of early-life socialization on behavior in a highly social fish. Thank you to all of the Keck researchers for attending and asking great questions!
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June 19, 2019
We had a packed house today for the Early Career Workshop at the annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology! Thank you to my co-organizers Drs. Laura Been (Haverford College), Kelli Duncan (Vassar College), and Christina Ragan (Purdue University Northwest), along with all of the fantastic presenters. Check out our schedule here! I will also be presenting a research poster on Friday (June 21) from my postdoc research in the Hofmann Lab about the effects of vasopressin on juvenile cichlid social behavior and status. SBNworkshop

May 23, 2019
The fish have finally arrived! Say hello to these young adult Burton’s Mouthbrooders (Astatotilapia burtoni), a highly social species of African cichlid. These fish traveled here from the Hofmann Lab at the University of Texas at Austin. The Solomon-Lane Lab will start research this summer with three talented undergraduate researchers!
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May 18, 2019
Over the past few days, I had the privilege of working with this talented group of animal behavior researchers at Weaving the Future of Animal Behavior (WFAB). I’m thrilled to be a part of this community as we move forward in science and as scientists. A special thank you to the organizers – Drs. Emilia Martins and Claire Horner-Devine – and to all of our panelists! WFAB 2019 Symposium Group Photo

January 30, 2019
Thank you to Scripps College for a warm welcome and this Faculty Spotlight! Check out my interview to learn about my research, how I became interested in studying social behavior, how critical I think diversity is to science, and three things that might surprise the Scripps community…

January 4, 2019
Go see graduate student Becca Butler present her poster “The Development of Social Status in a Highly Social Fish” (P1-161) at the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology meeting in Tampa! Becca completed this work as an undergraduate researcher with me in the Hofmann Lab. While juvenile social behavior is quite similar to adults, and they can form status relationships, we show that the social “rules” differ from the adults. Becca also mastered intracerebroventricular injections and was able to alter social status by manipulating arginine vasotocin signaling.

January 1, 2019
Hello, California! I am thrilled to join the Keck Science Department at Claremont McKenna, Scripps, and Pitzer Colleges as an Assistant Professor of Biology. This semester, I’ll be teaching Systems Neuroscience and a Neuroscience Lab. Stay tuned for research to begin in my Lab with talented undergraduate students from the Claremont Colleges.

December 20, 2018
How to measure female reproductive success when multiple females lay eggs in the same nest? This science challenge had an unexpected solution: food coloring! The dye marks eggs in the fish’s ovary. When the female lays eggs in the male’s nest, they have colored yolks! Count each color to estimate female reproductive success. Learn how in my new preprint: A simple egg marking method for polygynous fishes. dyedeggs_l.dalli_solomon-lane

October 15, 2018
Our new preprint “A tagging method for very small fish” describes how to mark fish as small as 1 cm long! Juvenile cichlids are hard to keep track of over time. This method makes it possible to study individuals as they develop!
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July 17, 2018
Take a look at our poster “Professional development through evidence-based public engagement”. It shares our approach to public engagement and ‘how to’ recommendations about engaging effectively. SBNposter_2018

April 3, 2018
Thank you to the Pan American Neuroendocrine Society for the Travel Award to attend the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology / International Congress of Neuroendocrinology Conference this summer in Toronto! I will be presenting two posters, one on my cichlid research and one on my STEM public engagement work. I will also be leading a professional development workshop on how to engage effectively with the public.

March 28, 2018
I am excited to be speaking at the Spring Symposium in Brain, Behavior and Evolution at UT Austin on April 28th! The theme this year is behavioral epigenetics. Check out The Center for Brain, Behavior, and Evolution website for more information. Registration is FREE for UT folks!

March 19, 2018
At the 2017 meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, I met with a group of graduate students, postdocs, and faculty at the Workshop for Public Engagement and External Relations. I wrote a letter summarizing our work and goals for the future. Check it out to learn about the ways SBN scientists already engage with diverse publics and our vision for the role SBN has the power to play in increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity in STEM; building strong connections with local communities; increasing public trust in scientists and enthusiasm for science; and developing and participating in public engagement and science communication training. We look forward to broadening the scope of and participation in public engagement together!

March 14, 2018
My new preprint Early-life social environment alters juvenile behavior and neuroendocrine function in a highly social cichlid fish is now available on bioRxv! Early-life social environments and experiences shape adult behavior critical for evolutionary fitness and health. We show that rearing juvenile A. burtoni in different social environments – social groups or pairs – affects behavior across contexts and stress and sex steroid hormone gene expression. By investigating these early-life effects in juveniles, we can identify how developmental plasticity shapes the adult phenotype.

March 13, 2018
Check out my new blog post Workshop highlights! How public engagement (and science communication) is a social endeavor about the BEACON STEM public engagement workshop I led with Alexa Warwick and Travis Hagey at UT Austin!

March 9, 2018
Thank you to Michele Johnson and Jimmy Roberts for inviting me to give a Neuroscience Seminar at Trinity University! The students asked excellent questions, and it was great meeting faculty and touring the impressive new science building. I look forward to visiting again!

February 19, 2018
Congratulations to undergraduate researcher Lisa Paggeot on being awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship today for her project on the behavioral and neurotranscriptomic mechanisms driving social status transitions in Astatotilapia burtoni!

February 5, 2018
The second annual full-day BEACON Public Engagement Workshop at the University of Texas at Austin was a success! This year, we focused on building a public narrative to connect with your audience, Stephanie Chiarello Noppenberg discussed how to engage effectively with public policy makers, and Rep Donna Howard shared insights about serving in the Texas State House of Representatives. Special thanks to Rep Howard and Stephanie for sharing their experiences and expertise! Check out the workshop resources and our library guide page for more information.

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November 8, 2017
I’m excited to share that I’ll be speaking at Nerd Nite Austin again! My talk is titled “Pork barrel science, or what biologists have learned from dressing animals in clothes.” Scientists go to great lengths for their research, but from the outside looking in, that research can appear ridiculous. (Remember the kerfuffle over shrimp treadmills?) But is science that appears wasteful actually a waste? Together, we will explore the world of seemingly-preposterous science by finding out what biologists have learned over the years from dressing animals in clothes. Nerd Nite starts at 8pm at The North Door. The event is FREE and open to the public. I hope to see you there!
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Photo credit: Zoo Portraits

October 2, 2017
Check out my new blog post Frame your science to make it accessible, including for your representative, about the Public Engagement Sandboxes I led with Hans Hofmann, Alexa Warwick, and Travis Hagey at the 2017 BEACON Congress!

August 4, 2017
Thanks again to funding from the BEACON Center for the study of Evolution in Action, I led two Sandboxes on STEM public engagement with my collaborators Travis Hagey, Alexa Warwick, and Hans Hofmann. Based on requests from our previous workshops, we focused on framing scientific messages to fit the audience and bridging the gap between STEM and public policy. Special thanks to Dr. Judi Brown Clarke (pictured below) for sharing her expert insights on being a scientist and an elected public official! Check out our handout and other resources for STEM public engagement.
July 2017
This summer, I was excited to again host two pairs of middle school girls as a part of the Shadow a Scientist program at UT Austin. They had the chance to observe cichlids interacting in their home communities, decide how to quantify the behaviors they found interesting, and design a small experiment to find out how juveniles of different sizes interact. Like last year, the girls had an excellent eye for behavior and asked great questions!
Note: Student faces blurred out of respect for privacy

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June 13, 2017
At the annual meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, I led the Public Engagement and External Relations Workshop with UCLA graduate student Yesenia Cabrera. Thank you to all of the undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and faculty who joined us to share the many ways they engage the public! We also strategized for the future, thinking about how SBN can further support the bold and innovative public engagement goals of its members. Thank you to the SBN organizers for including this productive session.

May 2017
Innovative science is increasingly interdisciplinary. Pop-Up Institutes are a novel way to bring researchers from diverse disciplines together for a month of collaboration. I coordinated our Institute Seeing the Tree and the Forest: Understanding Individual and Population Variation in Biology, Medicine, and Society, which drew interest from researchers in biology, statistics, medicine, nutrition, public health, athletics, classics, anthropology, and more! Check out my BEACON blog posts to learn more about the Pop-Up Institute and the communication strategies we used to collaborate across disciplines. Go to our guide page, curated by Biosciences Librarian Porcia Vaughn, to learn more and find resources!

April 12, 2017
Undergraduate researchers Hareem Usmani (left) and Becca Butler (right) present their research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. They did a fantastic job sharing their science! Both Becca and Hareem designed their projects and successfully applied for Undergraduate Research Fellowship funding to support their research. Congratulations!

March 20, 2017
It’s critically important for scientists to engage with the public, and they already do so in many different ways. How many ways? We decided to find out! Along with my collaborators Travis Hagey, Alexa Warwick, and Hans Hofmann, we asked members of the BEACON Center for the study of Evolution in Action about the different ways they engage. Read my blog post The Diversity of Ways that BEACONites Engage the Public to learn what we found.

February 20, 2017
Thanks to funding from BEACON Center for the study of Evolution in Action, Alexa Warwick, Travis Hagey, Hans Hofmann, and I organized and led a full-day workshop on STEM public engagement. We hosted the workshop at UT Austin, and members from other BEACON institutions attended via video conference. We learned about the science of scientists communicating science from Dr. Anthony Dudo (UT Austin), developed public engagement materials, and practiced presenting and communicating. Find out more about the workshop from my BEACON blog post:Reporting back! Highlights from the Public Engagement Workshop. Find resources from the workshop at our library guide page, curated by Biosciences Librarian Porcia Vaughn.
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February 15, 2017
Check out our new paper “A Role for Oxytocin-Like Receptor in Social Habituation in a Teleost” in Brain, Behavior, and Evolution!

October 30, 2016
Learn more about STEM public engagement and upcoming training opportunities in my BEACON blog post: BEACONites engage! Engaging with the public about STEM and opportunities for training.

August 10, 2016
At the 2016 Congress for the BEACON Center for the study of Evolution in Action, I led two Sandboxes with my collaborators Drs. Alexa Warwick, Travis Hagey, and Hans Hofmann. We discussed building an evidence-based framework for public engagement within BEACON and provided training for how to build your own public engagement experience. There is clearly strong support for STEM public engagement at BEACON. Thanks to all of our participants for your ideas and enthusiasm!

June 2016
The Shadow a Scientist program at UT Austin matches middle school students with a researcher to find out what a scientist really does. I hosted two pairs of middle school girls this summer. They had the chance to observe cichlid social interactions, develop an ethogram for quantifying behavior, and design an experiment to find out how juveniles interact. The girls were keen observers and asked insightful questions!
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June 16, 2016
Thank you to the Girls Empowerment Network for inviting me to be a mentor at speed mentoring! The high school girls at the Pathfinder Leadership Summit asked fantastic questions and have impressive goals for now and their futures.

March 2, 2016
The theme for Nerd Nite Austin this month is Brain Games! This SXSW Special Edition is being hosted in collaboration with National Geographic, and I’m excited to be one of the presenters!  I’ll be exploring the world of animal behavior research to uncover the biological basis of social behavior and its consequences.  Come to the North Door on Sunday March 13th @ 8 pm. The event is FREE.Nerd Nite

February 10, 2016
Thanks to Springer Animal Sciences for highlighting my publication, “The effects of previous experience and current condition on status contests in the bluebanded goby (Lythrypnus dalli)”!  See the Facebook highlight here, and go to my Publications tab to read the article.

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July 8, 2015
Take a look at my latest publication, “Agonistic reciprocity is associated with reduced male reproductive success”, in this issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (website)! I took the picture on the cover of the journal: it shows a male bluebanded goby caring for his eggs!

March 30, 2015
I am The BEACON Center’s featured Researcher at Work, this week! Check out my blog post The Original Social Gaming ! I discuss how I became interested in the biology of social behavior and my doctoral research with the bluebanded goby. The BEACON Center is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and brings together biologists, computer scientists, and engineers to study evolution in action. Learn more about the BECAON Center at their website.