Dept. of Biology, Miami University and Miami’s Ecology Research Center
Ann Rypstra is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at Miami University in Ohio. She is also the Director of Miami’s Ecology Research Center. Her research focuses on species interactions among coexisting spiders and their prey with special attention directed toward those that live in human dominated ecosystems. As her research team sought an understanding of the role of chemical signaling pathways in species interactions, they began to explore the potential direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic chemicals on their study organisms. While some evidence of endocrine disruption appeared, more intriguing was the fact that the presence of herbicides at non-toxic levels often act as “info-disruptors” when they interfere with the natural flow of information in ways that alter the interactions between and among predators and their prey as well as impacting the landscape for sexual selection.