Department of Biology

Lawrence S. Blumer

Department of Biology

Associate Professor

BGS: University of Michigan, 1974
MS: Zoology, University of Michigan, 1978
Ph.D: Biological Sciences, University of Michigan, 1982
Ph.D Thesis: Parental care and reproductive ecology of the North American catfish, Ictalurus nebulosus

Courses Taught:

General Biology for Science Majors 1 (BIO 111)

General Biology for Science Majors 2 (BIO 112)

Ecology (BIO 320)

Ecology Laboratory (BIO 320L)

Environmental Biology (BIO 497)

Senior Seminar in Biology (BIO 425)

Research Interests:

Ecology, Animal Behavior, Evolution

My research is in the areas of behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. Currently my students and I are studying mate choice, sexual selection, and the consequences of mate choice in animals. We are evaluating the effects on neuropeptides on the female mate choice in sailfin mollies, Poecilia latipinna. The molly studies are in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Beck (Emory University). In separate studies, we are evaluating the reproductive-behavioral consequences of induced social stress in convict cichlids, Cichlasoma nigrofasciatum.

We also are conducting studies on the behavior, ecology and evolutionary biology of insects. In collaboration with Dr. Christopher Beck, we are developing undergraduate laboratory teaching protocols with the Bruchid bean beetle, Callosobruchus maculatus. Visit our website: for access to these teaching resources. Other studies are evaluating competition between two parasitoids, Melattobia and Nasonia. This work is being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Robert Matthews (University of Georgia). In another study, we are evaluating the rapid induction of chemical defenses in ornamental tobacco, Nicotiana alata, and using tobacco hornworm larvae, Manduca sexta, as a biological indicator for induced chemical defenses.

My previous studies have focused on the evolution of parental care in fishes, the ecology of male parental care in the brown bullhead (a North American catfish) Ictalurus nebulosus, kin recognition in fishes, and the dynamics of mate choice and sexual selection in animals. In addition to these areas of research, students who wish to work with me may pursue investigations in other areas of ecology and environmental biology (broadly defined). Past studies conducted by students have been on the causes for growth variation in loblolly pine trees, factors influencing rates of domestic compost decomposition, bean beetle host selection and avoidance of competition, causes for birth weight variation in humans, patterns of human infant facial resemblance, social behavior and population genetics of fiddler crabs, patterns in plant defenses in response to herbivory, and evaluation of behavioral toxicology assays.

Selected Publications:

Blumer, L.S. 1997. Phenotypic variation in plants. In: Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Volume 18. pp 231-247. Glase, J. C. (ed.). Association for Biology Laboratory Education.

Beck, C., Blumer, L., and Brown, T. 2003. Effects of salinity on metabolic rate of black mollies. Pages 211-222, in Tested Studies for Laboratory Teaching, Volume 24 (M. O’Donnell, Editor). Proceedings of the 24th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE), 334 pages.

Earley, R.L., Blumer, L.S., and Grober, M.S. 2003. The gall of subordination: Changes in gallbladder function associated with social stress. Proc R Soc London Series B. 03PB0465:1-7 (internet publication) and 2004, 271:7-13 (in printed journal).

Beck, C.W., Guinan, J.A., Blumer, L.S., and Matthews, R.W. 2004. Exploring the Lotka-Volterra Competition Model with Two Species of Parasitoid Wasps. Ecological Society of America, Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Volume 2, published on-line at

Hyperlinks of Interest:

Department of Biology
Morehouse College
830 Westview Dr. SW
Atlanta , GA 30314

Office: 302 Hope Hall

(404) 658-1142
(404) 681-2800 x2325
(404) 215-2609 (Department of Biology Office, Ms. Morris)
FAX (404) 658-1142

Last Updated: 02February2006

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