Erin McCullough


Erin McCollough.


Erin McCullough is a PhD student in the Doug Emlen lab at the University of Montana. She is interested in morphological diversity of rhinoceros beetle horns. Her dissertation explores two factors that may be important in shaping the patterns that we see in horn diversity: 1) selection to minimize the functional costs of producing and carrying horns, and 2) selection to maximize the performance of horns during fights. Specifically, she studies how horns affect a beetle’s flight performance, how the development of horns may affect the growth of other body structures, and how the mechanical design of horn types may reflect differences in fighting tactic among rhinoceros beetle species. A central premise of most models of sexual selection is that male ornaments and weapons are costly, yet Erin’s research suggests that even the giant horns of rhinoceros beetles may not be as costly as we imagined.


Erin McCollough

Division of Biological Sciences

University of Montana

32 Campus Dr, HS 104

Missoula, MT 59812, U.S.A.





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University of Nebraska-Lincoln State Museum - Division of Entomology