Rebecca Clark

I study the physiology and ecology of nutrition in insects, primarily in two insect species, the field cricket Gryllus firmus, and the desert leafcutter ant Acromyrmex versicolor.

I seek to understand (1) how nutritional regulation affects growth and physiological allocation (i.e. how do different nutrients get to different parts of the body or organism?); and (2) how nutrition and behavior interact to drive function and growth of complex social groups. For example, how do ant queens balance foraging efforts vs. tending their young, to grow a new leafcutter colony? Details can be found in my research statement (pdf).

I also develop analytical tools to characterize behavior and nutritional physiology, using R. My Learn R page contains a curated set of resources to get started. If you prefer to learn in person, I can also lead a workshop on topics of your choosing.



Learn R


Research Methods

As a publicly-funded scientist, I try to make my research methods freely available to others. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are research photos from my work with ants and crickets.