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We are committed to broadly sharing our research. If you need access to one or more of our publications, please email Prof O'Connell or lab manager David Ramirez for a free PDF copy.

Google Scholar Profile


Lewis AR, Goolsby BC, Juarez BH, Lacey MP, O'Connell LA. Androgenic shifts and external cues mediate parental care versus infanticide in mimic poison frogs. preprint.

Caty SN, Alvarez-Buylla A, Vasek C, Tapia EE, Martin NA, McLaughlin T, Weber PK, Mayali X, Coloma LA, Morris MM, O'Connell LA. A toxic environment selects for specialist microbiome in poison frogs. preprint.

Dittrich C, Hoelzl F, Smith S, Fouilloux CA, Parker D, O’Connell LA, Knowles LS, Hughes M, Fewings A, Morgan R, Rojas B, Comeault AA. Genome assembly of the dyeing poison frog provides insights into the dynamics of transposable element and genome-size evolution. preprint

Ludington SC, McKinney JE, Butler JM, O'Connell LA. Activity of FoxP2-positive neurons correlates with begging behavior in a social tadpole. preprint.

Goolsby BC, Fischer MT, Pareja Mejia D, Lewis AR, Raboisson G, O'Connell LA. Home security cameras as a tool for behavior observations and science equity. preprint.

Butler JM, Singh D, Baker P, Edwards SV, Summers K, O'Connell LA. Dopamine neurons govern olfactory-gated infant begging behavior. preprint.

McKinney JE, Ludington SC, Butler JM, O'Connell LA. Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) is a negative regulator of tadpole aggression through opioid receptor signaling. preprint.

Butler JM, McKinney J, Ludington SC, Mabogunje M, Singh S, Edwards SV, O’Connell LA. Development of the visual system in social poison frog tadpoles. preprint.

Nowicki JP, Rodríguez C, Lee JC, Goolsby BC, Yang C, Cleland TA, O'Connell LA. Evidence for empathy in pair bonding poison frogs. preprint.

Juarez BH, O'Connell LA. Climate as a drive of global breeding periods in anurans. preprint.

Moskowitz NA, Alvarez-Buylla A, Morrison CR, Chamba A, Rentería J, Tapia EE, Coloma LA, Donoso DA, O’Connell LA. Poison frog diet and chemical defense are influenced by availability and selectivity for ants. preprint.

Sanchez E, Ramirez T, O'Connell LA. Alkaloid avoidance in poison frog tadpoles. preprint.


Lopez JS, Ali S, Asher M, Benjamin CA, Brennan RT, Burke MLT, Civantos JM, DeJesus EA, Geller A, Guo MY, Haase Cox SK, Johannsen JM, Kang JSJ, Konsker HB, Liu BC, Oakes KG, Park HI, Perez DR, Sajjadian AM, Torio Salem M, Sato J, Zeng AI, Juarez BH, Gonzalez M, Morales G, Braden N, Fiocca K, Pamplona Barbosa MM, O’Connell LA. Pavement ant extract is a chemotaxis repellent for C. elegans. 2024. Published Article DOI: 10.17912/micropub.biology.001146; PMID: 37008729


Alvarez-Buylla A, Fischer MT, Moya Garzon MD, Rangel AE, Tapia EE, Tanzo JT, Soh HT, Coloma LA, Long JZ, O'Connell LA. 2023. Binding and sequestration of poison frog alkaloids by a plasma globulin. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2022.11.22.517437; PMID: 38206862

Wan YC, Navarrete MJ, O’Connell LA, Uricchio LH, Roland AB, Maan ME, Ron SR, Betancourth-Cundar M, Pie MR, Howell KA, Richards-Zawacki CL, Cummings ME, Cannatella DC, Santos JC, Tarvin RD. Selection on visual opsin genes in diurnal neotropical frogs and loss of the sws2 opsin in poison frogs. Preprint DOI:10.1101/2022.10.18.510514; PMID: 37791477

Delia J, Gaines-Richardson M, Ludington SC, Akbari N, Vasek C, Shaykevich D, O'Connell LA. 2023. Tissue-specific in vivo transformation of plasmid DNA in Neotropical tadpoles using electroporation. PMID: 37590232;

Chen TG, Goolsby BC, Bernal G, O'Connell LA, Cutkosky MR. 2023. Feed Me: Robotic infiltration of poison frog families. Preprint DOI: 10.48550/arXiv.2305.14570; Published Article DOI: 10.1007/978-3-031-39504-8_20

Adebogun GT, Bachmann AE, Callan AA, Khan U, Lewis AR, Pollock AC, Alfonso SA, Arango Sumano D, Bhatt DA, Cullen AB, Hajian CM, Huang W, Jaeger EL, Li E, Maske AK, Offenberg EG, Ta V, Whiting WW, McKinney JE, Butler J, O’Connell LA. 2023. Albino Xenopus laevis tadpoles prefer dark environments compared to wild type. Published Article DOI: 10.17912/micropub.biology.000750; PMID: 36824381.

Alfonso SA, Arango Sumano D, Bhatt DA, Cullen AB, Hajian CM, Huang W, Jaeger EL, Li E, Maske AK, Offenberg EG, Ta V, Whiting WW, Adebogun GT, Bachmann AE, Callan AA, Khan U, Lewis AR, Pollock AC, Ramirez D, Bradon N, Fiocca K, Cote LE, Sallee MD, McKinney JE, O’Connell LA. 2023. Argentine ant extract induces an osm-9 dependent chemotaxis response in C. elegans. Published Article DOI: 10.17912/micropub.biology.000745; PMID: 37008729.


Taboada C, Delia J, Chen M, Ma C, Peng X, Zhu X, Jiang L, Vu T, Zhou Q, Yao J, O'Connell LA, Johnsen S. 2022. Glassfrogs conceal blood in their liver to maintain transparency. PMID: 36548427.

Moskowitz NA, D'Agui R, Alvarez-Buylla A, Fiocca K, O'Connell LA. 2002. Poison frog dietary preference depends on prey type and alkaloid load. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2022.01.20.476996; PMID: 36454945.

Pasukonis A, Serrano-Rojas SJ, Fischer MT, Loretto MC, Shaykevich DA, Rojas B, Ringler M, Roland AB, Marcillo-Lara A, Ringler E, Rodriguez C, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2002. Contrasting parental roles shape sex differences in poison frog space use but not navigational performance. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2022.05.21.492915; PMID: 36377473.


Chen Z, Zakrzewska S, Hajare HS, Alvarez-Buylla A, Abderemane-Ali F, Bogan M, Ramirez D, O’Connell LA, Du Bois J, Minor DL. 2022. Definition of a saxitoxin (STX) binding code enables discovery and characterization of the Anuran saxiphilin family. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2022.06.09.495489; PMID: 36279441.

Krieger AC, Povilaitis SC, Goowda P, O’Connell LA, Eberlin LS. 2022. Noninvasive detection of chemical defenses in poison frogs using the masspec pen. PMID: 36281295.

Alvarez-Buylla A, Payne CY, Vidoudez CY, Trauger SA, O'Connell LA. 2022. Molecular physiology of pumiliotoxin sequestration in a poison frog. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2020.11.03.367524; PMID: 35275922.

O'Connell LA, Crews D. 2022. Evolutionary insights into sexual behavior from whiptail lizards. PMID: 33929097.

Kabelik D, Julien AR, Waddell BR, Batschelett MA, O'Connell LA. 2022. Aggressive but not reproductive boldness in male green anole lizards correlates with baseline vasopressin activity. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.11.459908; PMID: 35066329.

Shaykevich DA, Pasukonis A, O'Connell LA. 2022. Long distance homing in the cane toad (Rhinella Marina) in its native range. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.16.448742; PMID: 34940881.


Autry AE, O'Connell LA. 2021. The parental dilemma: How evolution of diverse strategies for infant care informs social behavior circuits. PMID: 34867211

Abderemane-Ali F, Rossen ND, Kobiela ME, Craig II RA, Garrison CE, Chen Z, Colleran CM, O'Connell LA, Du Bois J, Dumbacher JP, Minor Jr DL. 2021. Evidence that toxin resistance in poison birds and frogs is not rooted in sodium channel mutations and may rely on "toxin sponge" proteins. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.29.361212; PMID: 34351379.

Kabelik D, Julien AR, Ramirez D, O'Connell LA. 2021. Social boldness correlates with brain gene expression in male green anoles. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.15.426859; PMID: 34102460.

O'Connell LA, LS50: Integrated Science Laboratory Course, O'Connell JD, Paulo JA, Trauger SA, Gygi SP, Murray AW. 2021. Rapid toxin sequestration modifies poison frog physiology. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2020.05.27.119081; PMID: 33408255.


O'Connell LA. 2020. Lessons from poison frogs on ecological drivers of behavioral diversification. PMID: 33039350

Weiss L, Jungblut LD, Pozzi AG, O'Connell LA, Hassenflover T, Manzini I. 2020. Conservation of glomerular organization in the main olfactory bulb of anuran larvae. PMID: 32792916.

Nowicki JP, Pratchett MS, Coker DJ, Walker SPW, O'Connell LA. 2020. Gene expression correlates of social evolution in coral reef butterflyfishes. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/214759; PMID: 32576103.

Weiss L, Jungblut LD, Pozzi AG, Zielinski BS, O'Connell LA, Hassenklover T, Manzini I. 2020. Multi-glomerular projection of single olfactory receptor neurons is conserved among amphibians. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/788133; PMID: 32080843.

Fischer EK, Alvarez H, Lagerstrom KM, McKinney JE, Petrillo R, Ellis G, O'Connell LA. 2020. Neural correlates of winning and losing fights in poison frog tadpoles. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.27.922286; PMID: 32446779.

Moskowitz NA, Dorritie B, Fay T, Nieves OC, Vidoudez C, Cambridge Rindge and Latin 2017 Biology Class, Masconomet 2017 Biotechnology Class, Fischer EK, Trauger SA, Coloma LA, Donoso DA, O'Connell LA. 2020. Land use impacts poison frog chemical defenses through changes in leaf litter ant communities. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/745976; Published Article DOI: 10.1080/23766808.2020.1744957

Ellington CT, Hayden AJ, LaGrange ZB, Luccioni MD, Osman MA, Ramlan LI, Vogt MA, Guha S, Goodman MB, O'Connell LA. 2020. The plant terpenoid carvone is a chemotaxis repellent for C. elegans. microPublication Biology. 10.17912/micropub.biology.000231. PMID: 32550506.

Termignoni-Garcia F, Louder MIM, Balakrishnan CN, O'Connell LA, Edwards SV. 2020. Prospects for sociogenomics in avian cooperative breeding and parental care. PMID: 32440290.

Vaelli PM, Theis KR, Williams JE, O'Connell LA, Foster JA, Eisthen HK. 2020. The skin microbiome facilitates adaptive tetrodotoxin production in poisonous newts. PMID: 32254021.

Fischer EK, O'Connell LA. 2020. Hormonal and neural correlates of care in active versus observing poison frog parents. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/765503; PMID: 31987899.

Gallant JR, O'Connell LA. 2020. Studying convergent evolution to relate genotype to behavioral phenotype. PMID: 32034050

Martin A, Wolcott NS, O'Connell LA. 2020. Bringing immersive science to undergraduate laboratory courses using CRISPR gene knockouts in frogs and butterflies. PMID: 32034043.


Fischer EK*, Roland AB*, Moskowitz NA, Vidoudez C, Ranaivorazo N, Tapia EE, Trauger SA, Vences M, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2019. Mechanisms of convergent egg-provisioning in poison frogs. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/653501; PMID: 31761700.

Fischer EK*, Roland AB*, Moskowitz NA, Tapia EE, Summers K, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2019. The neural basis of tadpole transport in poison frogs. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/630681; PMID: 31311480

Caty SN, Alvarez-Buylla A, Byrd GD, Vidoudez C, Roland AB, Tapia EE, Budnik B, Trauger SA, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2019. Molecular physiology of chemical defenses in a poison frog. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/591115; PMID: 31138640

Fischer EK, Nowicki JN, O'Connell LA. 2019. Evolution of affiliation: patterns of convergence from genomes to behaviour. PMID: 31154971.

Lynch K, O'Connell LA, Lauder M, Pellicano A, Balakrishnan C, Fischer EK. 2019. Understanding the loss of maternal care in avian brood parasites using preoptic area transcriptome comparisons in brood parasitic and non-parastitic blackbirds. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/349118; PMID: 30760540.

Young RL, Ferkin MH, Ockendon-Powell NF, Orr VN, Phelps SM, Pogány A, Richards-Zawacki CL, Summers K, Székely T, Trainor BC, Urrutia AR, Zachar G, O’Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2019. Conserved transcriptomic profiles underpin monogamy across vertebrates. PMID: 30617061.



Moskowitz NA, Roland AB, Fischer EK, Ranaivorazo N, Vidoudez C, Aguilar MT, Caldera SM, Chae J, Cristus MR, Crowdis JP, DeMessie B, Desjardins-Park CR, Effenberger AH, Flores F, Giles M, He EY, Izmaylov NS, Lee CC, Pagel NA, Phy KK, Rosen LU, Seda DA, Shen Y, Vargas S, Weiss HS, Murray AW, Abebe Eden, Trauger SA, Donoso DA, Vences M, O'Connell LA. 2018. Seasonal changes in diet and chemical defense in the Climbing Mantella (Mantella laevigata). Preprint DOI: 10.1101/361998; PMID: 30586404.

Kapp FG, Perline JR, Hagedorn EJ, Gansner JM, Schwarz DE, O'Connell LA, Johnson NS, Amemiya C, Fisher DE, Wolfle U, Trompouki E, Niemeyer CM, Driever W, Zon LI. 2018. Protection from UV light is an evolutionary conserved feature of the haematopoietic niche. PMID: 29899448.

Fischer EK, O'Connell LA. 2018. Circuit architecture underlying distinct components of parental care. PMID: 29685403.

Nowicki J, O'Connell LA, Cowman PF, Walker S, Coker D, Pratchett M. 2018. Variation in social systems within Chaetodon butterflyfishes, with special reference to pair bonding. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/214544; PMID: 29641529.

Santos JC, Tarvin RD, O'Connell LA, Blackburn DC, Coloma LA. 2018. Diversity within diversity: Parasite richness in poison frogs assessed by transcriptomics. PMID: 29551526.

Audet JN, Kayello L, Ducatez S, Perillo S, Cauchard L, Howard JT, O'Connell LA, Jarvis ED, Lefebvre L. 2018. Divergence in problem-solving skills associated with differential expression of glutamate receptors in wild finches. PMID: 29546239.

Calisi RM and a Working Group of Mothers in Science. 2018. How to tackle the childcare-conference conundrum. PMID: 29507208.


Roland AB, Santos JC, Carriker BC, Caty SN, Tapia EE, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2017. Radiation of the polymorphic Little Devil poison frog (Oophaga sylvatica) in Ecuador. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/072181; PMID: 29188006.

Tarvin RD, Borghese CM, Sachs W, Santos JC, Lu Y, O’Connell LA, Cannatella DC, Harris RA, Zakon HH. 2017. Interacting amino acid replacements allow poison frogs to evolve epibatidine resistance. PMID: 28935799.

Early career researchers: an interview with Lauren O'Connell. PMID: 28679788.

Stynoski JL, O'Connell LA, 2017. Developmental morphology of granular skin glands in pre-metamorphic egg-eating poison frogs. Published Article DOI: 10.1007/s00435–017–0344–0.

Fischer EK, O'Connell LA. 2017. Modification of feeding circuits in the evolution of social behavior. PMID: 28057832.


Rabeling C, Sosa-Calvo J, O'Connell LA, Coloma LA, Fernández F. 2016. Lenomyrmex hoelldobleri: a new ant species discovered in the stomach of the dendrobatid poison frog, Oophaga sylvatica (Funkhouser). PMID: 27853401.

McGugan JR, Byrd GD, Roland AB, Caty SN, Kabir N, Tapia EE, Trauger SA, Coloma LA, O'Connell LA. 2016. Ant and mite diversity drives toxin variation in the Little Devil poison frog. Preprint DOI: 10.1101/031849; PMID: 27318689.

Tarvin RD, Santos JC, O'Connell LA, Zakon HH, Cannatella DC. 2016. Convergent Substitutions in a Sodium Channel Suggest Multiple Origins of Toxin Resistance in Poison Frogs. PMID: 26782998.

Santos JC, Tarvin RD, O'Connell LA. 2016. A review of chemical defense in poison frogs (Dendrobatidae): Ecology, pharmacokinetics, and autoresistance. Published Chapter DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22026-0_21


Roland AB, O'Connell LA. 2015. Poison frogs as a model system for studying the neurobiology of parental care. Published Article DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2015.10.002

Simões JM, Barata EN, Harris RM, O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA, Oliveira RF. 2015. Social odors conveying dominance and reproductive information induce rapid physiological and neuromolecular changes in a cichlid fish. PMID: 25766511


Dulac C, O'Connell LA, Wu Z. 2014. Neural control of maternal and paternal behaviors. PMID: 25124430.


O'Connell LA, Ding JH, Hofmann HA. 2013. Differences and similarities between males and females in neuroendocrine regulation of social behavior. PMID: 23899762.

Kidd MR, Dijkstra PD, Alcott A, Lavee D, Ma J, O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2013. Prostaglandin F2α facilitates female mating decisions based on male performance. Published Article DOI: 10.1007/s00265–013–1559–9

O'Connell LA, Rigney MM, Dykstra DW, Hofmann HA. 2013. Neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying sensory integration of social signals. PMID: 23631684.

Huffman LS, O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2013. Aromatase promotes aggression in the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni. PMID: 23438371.

O'Connell LA, Fontenot MR, Hofmann HA. 2013. Neurochemical profiling of dopamine neurons in a cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni. PMID: 23295359.

Kidd MR, O'Connell LA, Kidd CE, Chen CW, Fontenot MR, Williams SH, Hofmann HA. 2013. Female preference for males depends on reproductive physiology in the African cichlid fish Astatotilapia burtoni. PMID: 23168085.

O'Connell LA. 2013. Evolutionary development of neural systems in vertebrates and beyond. PMID: 23745795


O'Connell LA, Mitchell MM, Hofmann HA, Crews D. 2012. Androgens coordinate neurotransmitter-related gene expression in male whiptail lizards. PMID: 22862958.

Huffman LS, O'Connell LA, Kenkel CD, Kline RJ, Khan IA, Hofmann HA. 2012. Distribution of nonapeptide systems in the forebrain of an African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni. PMID: 22668656.

O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2012. Evolution of a vertebrate social decision-making network. PMID: 22654056.

O'Connell LA, Matthews BJ, Hofmann HA. 2012. Isotocin regulates paternal care in a monogamous cichlid fish. PMID: 22498693.

Huffman LS, Mitchell MM, O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2012. Rising StARs: Behavioral, hormonal, and molecular responses to social challenge and opportunity. PMID: 22373495.

O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2012. Social status predicts how sex steroid receptors regulate complex behavior across levels of biological organization. PMID: 22166981


O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2011. The vertebrate mesolimbic reward system and social behavior network: A comparative synthesis. PMID: 21800319.

Kline RJ, O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA, Holt JG, Khan IA. 2011. The distribution of an AVT V1a receptor in the brain of a sex changing fish, Epinephelus adscensionis. PMID: 21723386.

O'Connell LA, Hofmann HA. 2011. Genes, hormones, and circuits: An integrative approach to study the evolution of social behavior. PMID: 21163292.

O'Connell LA, Ding JH, Ryan MJ, Hofmann HA. 2011. Neural distribution of the nuclear progesterone receptor in the tungara frog, Physalaemus pustulosusPMID: 21256209.

O'Connell LA, Matthews BJ, Patel SB, O'Connell JD, Crews D. 2011. Molecular characterization and brain distribution of the progesterone receptor in whiptail lizards. PMID: 21185292.

O'Connell LA, Matthews BJ, Crews D. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase as a substrate for the evolution of pseudosexual behavior in a parthenogenetic whiptail lizard. PMID: 21126273.

O'Connell LA, Fontenot MR, Hofmann HA. Distribution of the dopaminergic system in the African cichlid fish, Astatotilapia burtoni. PMID: 21120929.


O'Connell LA, Matthews BJ, Ryan MJ, Hofmann HA. 2010. Characterization of the dopaminergic system in the brain of the tungara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus. PMID: 21099197.

Munchrath LA, Hofmann HA. 2010. Distribution of sex steroid hormone receptors in the brain of the African cichlid fish,  Astatotilapia burtoniPMID: 20575061.