Lori LaPlante

Contact


+1(603) 641-7163

Email

Education

B.S., Marine Biology: California State University, Long Beach
Ph.D., Ecology & Evolutionary Biology: University of Connecticut

  • Courses

    Animal Behavior, Biostatistics, Evolutionary Biology, and Field Studies in Tropical Biology. For more information visit my course website.

     

    Animal Behavior (BI335, LB 335 [WRIT])
    IMG_1194-resized.jpgThis course is an introduction to the basic principles underlying the behavior of animals. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms and evolutionary causes that drive behaviors observed in all types of animals (insects, fish, birds, and mammals). Upon completing this course, students will have acquired experiences in observing and recording animal behaviors through laboratory and field-based studies. Currently, field-based studies take place at a local zoo where each student completes a semester-long research project. This course also emphasizes components of and effective strategies for scientific writing.
    Fall: lecture and lab

    sample syllabus (PDF/352KB)

     

    Evolutionary Biology (BI325, LB325 [WRIT])
    finches.jpgThis course focuses on topics at the microevolutionary level such as the agents of evolutionary change leading to speciation and isolating mechanisms between species. It also addresses macroevolution, history of life on earth, systematics, and biogeography. 
    Spring: lecture and lab

    sample syllabus (PDF/189KB )

     

    Tropical Biology (BI221) and Field Studies in Tropical Biology (BI222): [GLOB]
    IMG_1127_resized.jpgThis two-semester sequence runs every other year. Combined, the two courses introduce students to the biological complexity of the tropics through lectures, discussions, and participatory field experiences at tropical locations in the ecologically diverse Central American country of Belize. During spring semester students learn about the natural history of tropical biota, patterns of species diversity, rainforest ecology and conservation, coral reef ecology, and Belizean culture and history. During summer session, Saint Anselm faculty and local experts will lead field trips and hands-on exercises in two of the most species-rich ecosystems on the planet, the neo tropical rainforest and the coral reef.  

    BI 221 + BI 222: open to all majors; counts as a biology lab course.

    BI221 (2 credits) every other spring: sample syllabus (PDF/39KB)
    BI222 (2 credits) every other summer, sample syllabus (PDF/84KB). Find more information.

     

    Biostatistics (BI345)
    biostats.jpgAn introduction to the fundamentals of statistics and the application of statistical analyses in biological research. Sampling, parametric and non-parametric techniques and the presentation of data are also covered. Assignments involve spreadsheet calculations and use of statistical software. Required for Biology and Environmental Science majors. Note: the number of enrolled Biology Department majors will be limited to 20 students.
    Fall, sample syllabus (PDF/228KB)

     

    Directed Research (BI421 / BI422; BI 423)
    Kelsey-resized.jpgSee LaPlante Lab: Research and People below.
    Fall, Spring

LaPlante Lab: Research and People

  • Research Interests

    laplante-scuba.jpgStudents in my lab have general interests in the ecology, evolution, and behavior of animals. I am primarily interested in how mating signals evolve, particularly those in fish. My lab is currently investigating the relationship between immunological benefits of carotenoid pigments and carotenoid-based ornamentation (funded by NH-INBRE). We are developing computer animated fish models of freshwater fishes to use as stimuli in behavior studies.

     

    Active research Projects:

    • Mate choice and dominance behavior in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram
    • Using computer animated fish as stimuli in behavior studies
    • Effects of a carotenoid-enhanced diet on ornamentation in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram (NH-INBRE funded)
    • Various observational projects at the Stone Zoo in Massachusetts (you would need to provide your own transportation to the Stone Zoo)

     

    Past research projects:

    • Major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-based mate choice in Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), a freshwater sunfish
    • Seasonality of male mate choice in Pumpkinseed
    • Mating preferences in two phenotypes of red-backed salamander
    • Defense strategies of a nudibranch against a fish predator (with Prof. Penney)
    • Impacts of vessel traffic on haul out behavior of harbor and grey seals in the southern Gulf of Maine
    • The evolution of mating signals in a tropical coral reef fish
    • Annual fecundity of tautog in Long Island Sound.

     

    For more information on these projects click on What research opportunities are there? (below).

  • What research opportunities are there? (click to expand)

    As a student in my lab, you may work on any of the following studies:

    • Mate choice and dominance behavior in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram
    • Using computer animated fish as stimuli in behavior studies
    • Effects of a carotenoid-enhanced diet on ornamentation in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram (NH-INBRE funded)

     

    What steps do I need to take to do research?

    • Enroll in Directed Research (BI 421/BI 422/BI 423): You would enroll in either a two-semester directed research program (BI 421-422, 4 credits) or a one semester intensive research study (BI 423, 4 credits). Either option counts as a biology lab course. For both options you would be expected to commit the same amount of time as any other 4 credit course. This option is available during the academic year and summer.  > See Can I get paid to do research?  (below) for opportunities to earn student salary on top of course credit.  

     

    • Apply to be a Student Research Assistant: You may assist on any of the ongoing research projects in the lab, generally one that is in your area of interest. Student research assistants may work during the academic year (at least 1 hour per week in the lab) or during summer.  > See Can I get paid to do research?  (below) for opportunities to earn student salary.
  • Can I get paid to do research? (click to expand)

    Yes!

    Here are student funding opportunities for the academic year: 

    • NH-INBRE Research Support and Training Grant (RSTG): This grant covers your salary and expenses. You may apply to work up to 10 hours per week on your own research project, under my supervision. Applications are generally due in September.

     

    • Undergraduate Research Fellowship: This fellowships covers your salary and expenses for research and conferences. You may apply to work up to 10 hours per week on your own research project, under my supervision. Applications are generally due at the beginning of fall and spring semesters.

     

    Here are student funding opportunities for summer: 

    • NH-INBRE Summer Biomedical Research Grant: This grant covers your salary, on-campus housing, and expenses. Under this grant you will be expected to work up to 40 hours per week over a 10-week period. During this period, you would work on your own research project, under my supervision. Students are expected to present their research at the NH-INBRE Annual Meeting, which is usually held in August. Applications for the Summer Grant are generally due in February.

     

    • Honors Summer Research Fellowship: This fellowship provides a $4000 stipend and on-campus housing. Under this fellowship you are expected to work 40 hours per week over an 8-week period. During this period, you would work on your own research project, under my supervision. Students are expected to submit a research report (due in October) and give a formal presentation of their research findings (e.g. at Family Weekend). Applications are generally due in February.
  • Who has worked in the LaPlante Lab and where are they now? (click to expand)

     

    MrM.jpg

    Megan Lalonde (Natural Sciences, '19): currently a Directed Research student (funded by NH-INBRE Seed Grant)

    Isabelle Harvey (Biology, '21): currently a student research assistant (funded by NH-INBRE Seed grant)

    Research Project: "Investigating immunological benefits of a carotenoid-enhanced diet in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi"

    Veneri_Roy_Cardosa

     

    Jordan Veneri (Biology, '19): currently a Directed Research student (funded by NH-INBRE RSTG grant)

    Caroline Cardosa (Biology, '20): currently a student research assistant (funded by NH-INBRE RSTG grant)

    Josephine Roy (Biology, '20): currently a student research assistant (funded by NH-INBRE RSTG grant)

    Research Project: "The effect of a carotenoid-enhanced diet on growth and ornamentation in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi"

    FalangaPosterPresentationINBRE_small_0.jpeg

    Emily Falanga (Biology, '20)

    Summer Research Project: "Characterization and identification of carotenoids in freshwater fishes"

    Project funded by NH-INBRE Summer Biomedical Research Grant

    DeRoche2018_small.jpeg

    Nicole DeRoche  (Environmental Science, '18): Animal Care Technician at Boston University, Animal Science Center

    Research Project: "Allograft-rejection response of fish scales: a method for testing adaptive immunity in a freshwater fish"

    Project funded by NH-INBRE Summer Biomedical Research Grant


    Delaney2017_small.jpg

    Samantha Delaney  (Biology, '19) 
    Research Project: "Using computer animation to investigate male preference for red-bellied females in Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the German Blue Ram"

    Project funded by NH-INBRE Summer Biomedical Research Grant and NH-INBRE RSTG grant

    Bonczar2017(Small).jpg

    Kendra Bonczar (Natural Sciences, '17): Market Research Associate at TechTarget

    Directed Research Project: "Investigating female preference for colored male features in Pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus)"

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    Karolyn Bristol (Biology, '15): Dog musher in Alaska 

    Eugenia Fandunyan (Biology, '16): Research associate at Sanofi Genzyme 

    Andrew Beliveau (Biology, '17): Manufacturing Associate at Lonza

    Brian Salvie (Biology, '16): Tufts University School of Dental Medicine 

    Nick Kuttner (Biology, '17)

    Zabrina Marino (Biology, '17)

    Research Project: "MHC-based mate choice in Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)"

    Project funded by NH-INBRE RSTG grant

    IMG_0929.jpg

    Taylor O'Donnell (Natural Sciences, '13)
    Senior research project: "The influence of female size and nest status on male mate choice in Pumpkinseed".

    Kelsey-resized.jpg

    Kelsey Dakoulas (Natural Sciences,'12): Application specialist at Meditech
    Senior Research Project: "Seasonal male mate choice in Lepomis gibbosus"

    IMG_0929.jpg

    Sara Sterling (Environmental Sciences '12): Teaching at Hopkington Middle School
    Studied: Mating preferences of female Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

    czaplinski10.jpg

    Jeffrey Czaplinski (Biology,'10): Clinical Research Coordinator Experimental Therapeutics Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    Senior Research Project: "Plethodon cinereus chemodection structures vary dorsoventrally and seasonally"

    desroches10.jpg

    Jodi Desroches (Chemistry '10): Clinical research associate at Parexel

    forbes10.jpg

    Dr. Erin Forbes, DVM (Biology, '10): Veterinarian at Mountain View Animal Hospital (VT)

    Senior Research Project (with Weathers): "Male striped salamanders prefer female striped salamanders"

    weathers10.jpg

    Colleen Weathers (Natural Sciences, '10): Research assistant at Audobon Florida

    Senior Research Project (with Forbes): "Male striped salamanders prefer female striped salamanders"

    Bacque09.jpg

    Dr. Soleil Bacque, DVM (Biology, '09): Veterinarian at Crossroads Veterinary Clinic (NY)

     

    Gould09.jpg

    John Gould (Biology, '09)

    panunzio09.jpg

    Jamie (Panunzio) O'Brien (Biology '09): Wildlife biologist at Normandeau Associates, Inc

     

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    Christie Usher (Environmental Science, '09)