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Eleanor Caves


Contact Information:

Room 302, Biological Sciences Building
Duke University
Durham, NC 27708

personal website

AcuityView on CRAN (associated paper)



BA, Biology, Pomona College (2011)
MPhil, Zoology, University of Cambridge (2012)


Research Interests:

My research interests lie somewhere at the intersection of vision, coevolution, and interspecies interaction. For my dissertation, I’m examining the visual ecology of the cleaner shrimp-client fish mutualism. In particular, I’m interested in how visual signals may play a role in the evolution of a mutualism that was initially a predator-prey relationship: how do you evolve cooperation when one party could so easily cheat and eat the other? Cleaner shrimp are beautiful animals that display complex color patterns, but if and how those color patterns function as intra- or inter-specific signals is unknown. My current research focuses on the visual capabilities of cleaner shrimp, how cleaners may use signals directed at client fish to mediate cleaner-client interactions, and the phylogenetics of cleaner shrimp and the evolution of cleaning behavior.



EM Caves and S Johnsen. 2017. AcuityView: An r package for portraying the effects of visual acuity on scenes observed by an animal. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12911

EM Caves, M Stevens, and CN Spottiswoode. 2017. Does coevolution with a shared parasite drive hosts to partitiontheir defences among species? Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 284: 20170272. Duke Press Release, The Economist

EM Caves, TT Sutton, and S Johnsen. 2017. Visual acuity in fish correlates with eye size and habitat. Journal of Experimental Biology 220: 1586-1596.

EM Caves, TM Frank, and S Johnsen. 2016. Spectral sensitivity, spatial resolution, and temporal resolution and their implications for conspecific signalling in cleaner shrimp. Journal of Experimental Biology 219: 597-608. Duke Video Press Release

EM Caves, M Stevens, E Iverson, and CN Spottiswoode. 2015. Hosts of brood parasites have evolved egg visual signatures with elevated information content. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 282: 20150598. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0598 (cover article) Duke Press Release

EM Caves*, Jennings SB*, HilleRisLambers J, Tewksbury JJ, Rogers HS. 2013. Natural Experiment Demonstrates That Bird Loss Leads to Cessation of Dispersal of Native Seeds from Intact to Degraded Forests. PLoS ONE 8(5): e65618. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065618 (*co-first authors)






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