Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Thomas C. Jones

Committee Members

Darrell Moore, Lev Yampolsky


Quantifying individual differences in behavior and the extent that behavior is influenced by circadian control is of paramount importance in behavioral ecology. In addition, the proximate mechanisms underlying behavior are also critical in order to obtain a more complete picture of how behavior evolves. Biogenic amines (BAs) are simple nitrogenous compounds derived from amino acids and have been consistently and extensively linked to behavior. For this study, we analyzed temporal patterns of BAs in relation to the antipredator (boldness) and aggressive behavior in female Agelenopsis pennsylvanica, a funnel-web spider. Using HPLC-ED, we compared behavioral responses to temporal patterns of octopamine and serotonin, two BAs known to influence behavior in invertebrates. Our results suggest that, while there was a clear diel cycling pattern of both aggression and boldness, BAs do not follow this same pattern, suggesting that oscillations in absolute levels of BAs are not the underpinnings of behavioral oscillations.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.