University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Johana Goyes Vallejos

About me

Map with photosI am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Connecticut, USA. My research interests include the behavioral ecology of vertebrates and evolution of mating systems, with special interest in acoustic communication in anurans. I obtained my undergraduate degree at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. After my graduation and in order to improve my research experience I traveled to Panama to work with Dr. John Christy at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). We studied the effects of increasing perceived predation risk on the mate sampling and mate choice behavior of females of the fiddler crab Uca terpsichores. The science community at STRI truly captivated me and I returned once again, this time to study a well-known model in behavioral ecology: the Tungara Frog Engystomops pustulosus. I worked under the supervision of Dr. Ximena Bernal (Assistant Professor Purdue University), combining behavioral observations and calling recordings in the field to evaluate the role of frog-biting midges as eavesdroppers. This was my first experience with recording equipment and I became very interested in calling behavior in frogs. These experiences had a strong defining effect on me and convinced me to be a behavioral ecologist and to pursue my graduate studies in this field


Current Research

I am studying the calling behavior of the smooth guardian frog L. palavanensis (Anura: Dicroglossidae), under the supervision of my primary advisor Dr. Kentwood Wells (University of Connecticut) and Dr. Ulmar Grafe (University of Brunei Darussalam). One of the peculiarities of this Bornean endemic is the presence of elaborated parental care. Males of this species attend the eggs and transport the tadpoles to small bodies of water where they can complete their development. During my previous field seasons, I have recorded acoustic data and videos of male and female reproductive behaviors. I believe that females call to court males since the time and energy spent taking care of the offspring by males limits their availability for mating opportunities. If true, this would represent an instance of sex role reversal, the first such case reported for any anuran globally.

Smooth Guardian Frog
Smooth Guardian Frog of Borneo



Ph.D. Candidate, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, University of Connecticut
Major Advisor: Kentwood D. Wells, Ph.D.

Bachelor of Science, Biology Program, School of Natural Sciences, Universidad del Valle, Cali (Colombia) 2003 – 2008
Thesis Advisor: Gloria Machado-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Thesis: “Comparison of DNA extraction methods from the Tenerife lizard Gallotia galloti.”

Exchange Student SIGUEME Program. Biology Academic Program, School of Natural and Exact Sciences, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin (Colombia) 2006 – 2007


Contact Information

Phone: (860) 486-5434
Office: TLS 379

Mailing Address:
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
75 N. Eagleville Rd. UNIT 3043
Storrs, CT 06269