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Cover for Exploring Variation in Learning Ability in Pieris rapae, the Cabbage White Butterfly
dc.contributor.advisorWeiss, Martha Ren
dc.creatoren
dc.date.accessioned2013-09-12T15:34:00Zen
dc.date.created2013en
dc.date.issueden
dc.date.submitted01/01/2013en
dc.identifier.otherAPT-BAG: georgetown.edu.10822_559466.tar;APT-ETAG: dea2756df4deb01343e39b11096c1609en
dc.identifier.urien
dc.descriptionM.S.en
dc.description.abstractLearning abilities allow animals to modify their behaviors based on experience; such plasticity provides an adaptive mechanism for responding to environmental unpredictability. As with any heritable trait subject to natural selection, learning ability can vary both within and across insect species, suggesting costs to maintaining the ability to learn. In this thesis I explored two different aspects of variation in learning ability in the Cabbage White Butterfly, Pieris rapae. First, I evaluated whether P. rapae learn two different visual stimuli (color and shape) at the same rate and proficiency in a foraging context. While learning abilities of different stimuli within a given sensory modality have been studied in other insects, visual learning abilities aside from color in butterflies have received little attention. I found that while Pieris rapae is capable of learning shape in association with a food reward, color is a more salient cue in a foraging context. Second, I compared life history traits, foraging behavior, and learning abilities of a wild and a laboratory population of P. rapae to assess how differences in both genetic makeup and environment can alter phenotypes within a species. I found that the two populations differ in timing of development for several life stages, and that foraging behavior and learning abilities diverged based on population origin. The findings from these two studies provide new evidence for how variation in learning abilities depends on type of stimulus, and can also be affected by environmental pressures and genetic processes.en
dc.formatPDFen
dc.format.extent66 leavesen
dc.languageenen
dc.publisherGeorgetown Universityen
dc.sourceGeorgetown University-Graduate School of Arts & Sciencesen
dc.sourceBiologyen
dc.subjectforaging behavioren
dc.subjectlaboratory evolutionen
dc.subjectlearningen
dc.subjectmultimodal cuesen
dc.subjectPieris rapaeen
dc.subject.lcshAnimal behavioren
dc.subject.lcshEcologyen
dc.subject.lcshEvolution (Biology)en
dc.subject.otherAnimal behavioren
dc.subject.otherEcologyen
dc.subject.otherEvolution & developmenten
dc.titleExploring Variation in Learning Ability in Pieris rapae, the Cabbage White Butterflyen
dc.typethesisen
gu.embargo.lift-date2015-09-12en
gu.embargo.terms2-yearsen


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