Adena Mahadia

 
Mentor: Dr. Chris Hamilton
Florida Museum of Natural History
 
"I decided to get involved with research because I saw it as a way to bring to life all the things that I was learning about in school. It was my opportunity to see what exactly goes into making scientific discoveries and it would allow me the chance to make a difference in the scientific community."

Major

Biology

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Psychology

Academic Awards

  • Emerging Scholars(2016)
  • University Scholars(2016)
  • CLAS Dean Scholarship (2016)
  • Golden Key National Honor Award (2015)

Organizations

  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • AMSA
  • Golden Key National Honor Society

Volunteer

  • Shands Hospital
  • Ronald McDonald House

Hobbies and Interests

  • Playing with dogs
  • Baking

Research Description

Testing Hypotheses in the Hawkmoth-Bath Evolutionary Arms Race
The research I am working on focuses on determining if the evolution of the moth wing shape and body size is caused by their need to survive against bat predators. Our research focuses primarily of hawkmoths in the Sphingidae family. As bats have evolved to develop capture hawkmoths, the hawkmoths have evolved to increase their chances of survival. Our first objective is to characterize moth wing shapes and body sizes across hawkmoths and to see how they correlate to their ability escape bat predators. Our second objective is to create a hawkmoth phylogeny using next generation sequencing. Then using this we will compare the evolutionary timing of differing wing shapes and body sizes with hawkmoth anti-bat traits. Once our project is done we will be able to investigate whether elaborate wing shapes and body sizes are correlated with the possession of evasive anti-bat traits.