Laurel's research addresses how animals (including people) detect, process, and react to cues in the environment. Her work is particularly focused on understanding how evolution shapes sensory systems and decision-making. These interests have led her to study a variety of organisms, including tree crickets, katydids, frogs, bats, and humans.

Laurel completed a BS in Biology at Denison University and a PhD in Biology at Dartmouth College (specializing in Ecology and Evolution). She then conducted post-doctoral research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. In the summer of 2015, she returned to Dartmouth as Neukom Fellow for computational interdisciplinary research, where she has a joint appointment in Psychological and Brain Sciences and in Biology. [website]

  • Reichert, MS, Symes, LB, & Höbel, G. (2016). Lighting up sound preferences: cross-modal influences on the precedence effect in treefrogs. Animal Behaviour, 119, 151-159
  • Symes, LB, Page, RA, & ter Hofstede, HM. (2016). Effects of acoustic environment on male calling activity and timing in Neotropical forest katydids. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 1-11
  • Symes LB, Ayres MP, Cowdery C* and Costello RA*. (2015). Signal diversification in Oecanthus tree crickets is defined by energetic, morphometric, and acoustic trade-offs. Evolution 69-6: 1518- 1527.   
  • Symes LB and Price TD. (2015). Review of ‘Animal Communication and Noise, Ed. H. Brumm.’ Animal Behaviour, 108, 43-45.
  • Symes LB, Serrell N, and Ayres MP. (2015). A practical guide for mentoring scientific inquiry. Bulletin of  the Ecological Society of America 96(2): 352-367.
  • Symes LB and Price TD2015 Sexual stimulation and sexual selection. The American Naturalist 185(4) iv.
  • Rodríguez RL, Araya–Salas M, Gray DA, Reichert M, Symes LB, Wilkins MR, Safran RJ and Höbel G.(2015). How acoustic signals scale with individual body size: common trends in static allometry across diverse taxa. Behavioral Ecology 26(1): 168-177.
  • Symes LB. (2014). Species composition affects the shape of mate response functions. Evolution 68: 205- 213.
  • Costello RA* and Symes LB. 2014. Effects of anthropogenic noise on male signaling behaviour and female phonotaxis in Oecanthus tree crickets. Animal Behaviour 95: 15-22. (*Undergraduate  senior thesis and best student poster in Animal Behavior at SICB 2015).
  • Scordato ESC, Symes LB, Mendelson TC and Safran RJ. 2014. The role of sexual selection in speciation: how often is ecology measured? The Journal of Heredity 105(Special issue): 782-794.
  • Safran RJ, Scordato ESC^, Symes LB^, Rodriguez RL and Mendelsen TC. 2013. Contributions of natural and sexual selection to the evolution of premating reproductive isolation: a research agenda. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 28:643-650.  ^Equal authorship
  • Rodriguez RL, Boughman JW, Gray DA, Hebets EA, Hobel G and Symes LB. 2013. Diversification under   sexual selection: the relative roles of mate preference strength and the degree of divergence in mate preferences. Ecology Letters 16: 964-974.
  • Symes LB and Collins NC+. 2013. A new species of tree cricket from the southwestern United States. Journal of Orthoptera Research 22: 87-91.
  • Safran RS, Flaxman S, Kopp M, Irwin D, Evans MR, Funk WC, Gray DA, Hebets EA, Seddon N, Scordato ESC, Symes LB, Tobias JA, Toews D and Uy A. 2012. A robust new metric of phenotypic distance to estimate and compare multiple trait differences among populations. Current Zoology 58: 426-439.
  • Collins N+ and Symes LB. 2012. Oecanthus walkeri: A new species of tree cricket from Texas. Journal of Orthopteran Research. Journal of Orthoptera Research 21: 51-56.
  • McPeek MA, Symes LB, Zong DM* and McPeek CL*. 2011. Species recognition and patterns of population variation in the reproductive structures of a damselfly genus. Evolution 65: 419-428.
  • Schultz TD, Anderson CN and Symes LB. 2008. The conspicuousness of colour cues in male pond damselflies depends on ambient light and visual system. Animal Behaviour. 76: 1357-1364.
  • Paul P and Symes LB. 2008. Ballistocardiography in the physics classroom. The Physics Teacher 46:300-302.