SBSabrina S. Burmeister, PI

As an undergraduate, Dr. Burmeister first became interested in animal behavior while sitting in the mud at low tide in Sarasota Bay and watching the foraging behavior of Great Blue Herons as part of an independent study project. She was particularly interested in the interspecies interactions she observed and soon focused her research interests on animal communication. As a graduate student, her first research project had her sitting in the mud once again, this time to record the vocalizations of cricket frogs. The more she studied vocal interactions among frogs, the more interested she became in the underlying mechanisms. She completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at the University of Texas with Walter Wilczynski, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Russell Fernald. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and Curriculum in Neurobiology at  UNC, where she studies the neural mechanisms of social behavior in frogs and teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience, behavioral endocrinology, and the evolution of the brain.

Contact Dr. Burmeister at

Yuxiang Liu,

graduate student

Yuxiang studies spatial cognition within the context of evolution. He is particularly interested in how species vary in their ability to use cues to remember locations in space. His work focuses on poison dart frogs because they have evolved elaborate parental care behaviors that likely depend on spatial memory.