The effect of predator kairomones on caudal regeneration by Allegheny Mountain dusky salamanders is the topic of a peer review article that was published online in the Canadian Journal of Zoology on January 19, 2019, by Aaron M. Sullivan, Ph.D., associate professor of biology and chair of the department, and Wesley I. Payette ’17. This paper was the product of Payette’s senior honors thesis.
“Work in our lab has focused on how prey (usually salamanders) respond to chemical traces from predators in the environment,” said Prof. Sullivan, whose research with students focuses on predator-prey interactions and chemical communication.
Payette’s honors thesis took the work in a different direction, said Sullivan. “He wanted to determine if the detection of a predator affected the rate of regeneration after caudal autonomy. I thought it was a really exciting idea, and we found some very interesting results.”
Besides his research foci, Prof. Sullivan has also participated in field work related to the Pacific Crest Trail Megatransect with a collaborator at William Jessup University. The concept driving this project is the use of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a ‘barometer’ of biodiversity where a survey helps document the occurrence and distributions of plants, animals, and their habitats across the remote and mountainous regions of the Pacific States from Mexico to Canada.
Published since 1929, the Canadian Journal of Zoology reports on primary research in the broad field of zoology. Payette and Sullivan’s manuscript appears in the journal’s Just-IN section. Although considered published, Just-IN manuscripts are not the official version of record and can be substantially different from the final version.
Biology at Houghton
Houghton biology major Wesley Payette ’17 shares about his experience learning more about the world and God through his studies, including off-campus trips to Alaska and Costa Rica.
Houghton College is a liberal arts institution that challenges students to academic excellence – in the context of a relevant Christian community – and empowers them to enrich the world. The college of 1,000 students is located in Western New York, just 65 miles from Rochester and Buffalo.