Rex Cocroft

Rex Cocroft suspects that part of his interest in acoustic communication in animals comes from years spent studying music in college. He recently accepted a position as assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he plans to continue working on treehoppers. His current research goal is to understand how communication between individuals in these insect groups serves as a means of cooperation or conflict and how their interactions are determined by their social structure and ecology. Cocroft’s enjoyment of the intellectual challenges of his work is matched by an “irreducible appreciation of the animals themselves, which are so different from humans that trying to understand their world is a continual stretch of the imagination.” Because there are so many species of insects and many of them are so little known, says Cocroft, “the research frontier seems almost limitless,” full of wonderful surprises and opportunities to address questions about the function and evolution of animal behavior. [Original biographical note]

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