Rebekah Keating (Godfrey)

Postdoctoral Research Associate
UArizona Molecular and Cellular Biology
Current Lab
Rotation Labs


Social structure, body size, and sensory ecology in Hymenoptera brain evolution
Dissertation Advisor

 I am a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Wulfila Gronenberg where I measure behavior and neuromorphological traits in ants and their relatives.  I received a Bachelor's of Science in biology from the University of Vermont and a Master's of Science in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  For my master's thesis I worked with Dr. Timothy Nuttle and Dr. Ellen Yerger studying the effects of historic deer browsing on Lepidoptera communities in temperate forests.  In the second half of 2018 I received a DAAD from the German government to conduct a project in electrophysiology in honeybees at the University of Würzburg under the mentorship of Dr. Martin Strube-Bloss.

Research Summary

A  budding neuroethologist, I am interested in neural traits underlying particular behaviors and patterns of behaviors in insects.  At the species level I seek to understand how distributions of individual traits contribute to group-level patterns of behavior, currently in ant colonies.  Like many natural scientists, I am drawn to evolutionary studies and the power of the comparative method.  To study neural trait evolution, I quantify the phylogenetic plasticity of neural traits and test for correlations between neuromorphology and particular life histories in Hymenoptera.


Godfrey, RK, Gronenberg W. In revision. Brain evolution in social insects – advocating for the comparative approach. J Comp Physio A. 

Godfrey RK, Yerger EH, Nuttle TJ. 2018. Opposing deer and caterpillar foraging preferences may prevent reductions in songbird prey biomass in historically overbrowsed forests. Ecol Evol. 2018;8:560–571. 

Keating R, Yerger E, Nuttle TJ.  2013. Impacts of Climate Change on Commonly Encountered Forest Lepidoptera of Pennsylvania. Report prepared for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 2013 Wild Resource Conservation Program (WRCP-010383).

Other Info


  • BS in Biology, Ecology and Evolution
  • MS in Biology


Ecology and Evolution

Research Interests

Neuroethology, Brain Evolution, Insects