Rebecca Clark

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

I ask (1) how nutrients affect 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 between foraging vs. tending their young, to grow a new leafcutter colony? For details, see my research statement (pdf).

I also develop analytical tools to characterize behavior and nutritional physiology, using R. My Learn R page contains curated resources for those just getting started with R. I also organize and lead workshops.

Research Projects

Research Methods

My research is funded by the public, so I try to make my methods freely available via Flickr:


Learn R