Psychology Department



Aaron Rundus



Aaron Rundus

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Ph.D., University of California Davis

Office Phone: 610-436-3151
Office Room #: PB 38
Preferred means of contact: Email


Fall 2016 Office Hours:
Monday - Friday        11:00am - 12:00pm

*WCU 2015 Summer Study Abroad in Rwanda

**WCU Rwanda Summer Field School, 2015 ITINERARY


Courses typically taught:

  • PSY 335 Animal Behavior
  • PSY 255 Introduction to Biological Psychology

Brief description of research interests:

My research program investigates the functional significance of signal structure and communicative behavior in an effort to better understand the proximate and ultimate sources of signal diversity in communication systems. Within this broad conceptual framework, I am particularly interested in the evolution and function of complex multi-modal signals, those consisting of elements of more than one signal modality.


My research examines (a) the role that the sensory specializations of signal targets play in the evolution of multi-modal signals, (b) how components of these complex signals are shaped by the environments through which they propagate (c) the impact of immediate feedback on the proximate dynamics of signaling systems and (d) and the role of signal targets as mediators of the learning experiences involved in the expression of communicative behavior in both human and non-human animals.


Representative publications:

Joshi, Sanjay S., Johnson, Ryan, Rundus, Aaron S., Clark, Rulon W., Barbour, Matthew, & Qwings,      

    Donald H. in press. Robotic squirrel models: Study of squirrel-rattlesnakes interaction in laboratory and

    natural settings. IEEE Robotics & Automation.

Rundus, Aaron S., Sullivan-Beckers, Laura, Wilgers, Dustin J., & Hebets, Eileen A. 2011. Females are

    choosier in the dark: Environment-dependent reliance on courtship components and its impact on

    fitness. Evolution, 65(1), 268-282. 

Hebets, EileenĀ  A. & Rundus, Aaron S. 2011. Chemical Communication in a Multimodal Context. In:

    Chemical Communication in Crustaceans. (Ed. by T. Breithaupt & M. Thiel), pp. 335-354. New York,

    New York: Springer. 

Rundus, Aaron S., Santer, Roger D., & Hebets, Eileen A. 2010. Multimodal courtship efficacy of

    Schizocosa retrorsa wolf spiders: implications of an additional signal modality. Behavioral Ecology,

    21(4), 701-707.

Rundus, Aaron S., Owings, Donald H., Joshi, Sanjay S., Chinn, Erin & Giannini, Nicholas. 2007. Ground

    squirrels use an infrared signal to deter rattlesnake predation. Proceedings of the National Academy of

    Sciences, 104(36), 14372-14376.