Siyang Xia, Ph.D.
Year joined department:
Population genetics and behavioral ecology
My general research interest is in animal behavior. Questions that I am particularly curious about include: how behaviors mediate an organism’s adaptations to the environment, what are the roles of behaviors in generating biological diversity, and how behaviors are inherited and modified. Partially due to my love to mosquitoes, in my dissertation research I use the Dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti as a model system and study the evolution of its oviposition behaviors. The mosquitoes invaded human-made domestic habitats from forest habitats in the last millennium. In the process, they switched from using natural containers to artificial containers as their main egg-laying sites. Using both field and lab experiments, I am investigating what modifications of the oviposition behaviors were involved in this switch and what might be the evolutionary pressure that drives the behavioral modifications.