Dara Orbach
Last update: October 2015

e-mail: orbachd(at)tamug.edu

I am broadly interested in the co-evolution of anatomy and behavior (both within and between the sexes) and decision-making processes. During my master’s degree, I assessed how bats use their sensory systems to respond to cues and resources in their environments. My doctoral research applies comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to assess mechanisms of paternity control in cetaceans from proximate and ultimate perspectives. Genitalia can provide important insights into cetacean mating systems and evolution. I characterize the microanatomy and gross morphology of cetacean reproductive tracts from a variety of species and age classes using histological and morphometric techniques including CT scans. I empirically validate corresponding predictions of pre-copulatory mating tactics by filming and analyzing the mating patterns and behaviors of free-ranging cetaceans. I am particularly interested in understanding the relationship between form and function of vaginal folds. I am open to collaborations with researchers possessing diverse field expertise and perspectives across a broad range of taxa and study systems.