Sean Ehlman, PhD



Former graduate student (Animal Behavior Graduate Group)

Prior Education

BS in Biology from University of Kentucky12072677_926704830757342_1443879319300713726_n

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, I study behavioral responses to environmental change, most often human-induced environmental change. Within this context, I’m interested in how both evolutionary and developmental histories have produced the sensory systems and behavioral ‘rules of thumb’ that animals use to interact with their environments.

I study these questions both experimentally and with theory. The empirical system that I’m currently most involved with uses the Trinidadian guppy to study sensory systems and behavior in response to novel predator cues and increasing turbidity in Trinidadian streams. I’m also using signal detection theory and bet hedging theory to model behavioral responses to environmental change.


The Ethogram is a group blog run by some students of the Animal Behavior Graduate Group, for which I am a contributor. Check it out!

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.23.31 PMAdditionally, I encourage anyone curious about graduate school in ecology or evolutionary biology (especially those who are interested in joining the Davis community or the Sih lab) to contact either myself or my Sih lab colleagues with any questions you might have. Email: smehlman (at)


Ehlman SM, Torresdal JD, and Fraser DF. 20xx. Explaining variation in predation and population responses to human-induced turbidity in a tropical stream. Submitted.

Trimmer PC, Ehlman SM, and Sih A. 20xx. Predicting behavioral responses to rapidly-altered environments: state-dependent detection theory. Submitted.

Sih A, Trimmer PC, Ehlman SM. 2016. A conceptual framework for understanding behavioral responses to HIREC. Current Opinion. Invited.

Crowley PH, Ehlman SM, Korn E, and Sih A. 2016. Dealing with stochastic environmental variation in space and time: bet-hedging by generalist, specialist, and diversified strategies. Theoretical Ecology 9:149-161.

Ehlman SM, Sandkam BA, Breden F, and Sih A. 2015. Developmental plasticity in vision and behavior may help guppies overcome increased turbidity. Journal of Comparative Physiology A 201:1125-1135.

Sih A, Ehlman SM, and Halpin, R. 2015. On connecting behavioral responses to HIREC to ecological outcomes: a comment on Wong and Candolin. Behavioral Ecology 26:676-677.

Ehlman SM, Cox JJ, and Crowley PH. 2013. Evaporative water loss, spatial distributions, and survival in white-nose-syndrome-affected little brown myotis: a model. Journal of Mammalogy 94:572-583.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s