Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Dennis M. Higgs

Second Advisor

Lisa A. Porter


Pure sciences, Psychology, Bioacoustic trap, Conspecific sounds, Neogobius melanostomus, Round gobies




A useful model group to examine reproductive plasticity in acoustic responsiveness is the family Gobiidae. Male round gobies Neogobius melanostomus emit calls and females respond to these calls with high specificity. The current study investigates differential attraction between reproductive morphologies of the goby to conspecific calls and explores the use of calls to develop a bioacoustic trap. Behavioural responsiveness to conspecific calls was tested using playback experiments in the lab and field. Females showed a strong attraction to the grunt call in both the lab and field, while nonreproductive and sneaker males preferred the drum call in the lab, but favoured the grunt call in the field. By determining the relationship between reproductive state and auditory responsiveness to conspecific calls, I am further elucidating the function of acoustic communication in the round goby and may be essential when creating control strategies to prevent the spread of the invasive species.