Peggy S. M. Hill

Peggy Hill

Professor OH 330B

I am broadly trained as an ecologist and teacher. My undergraduate degree is in education, and I taught math and science at the secondary level for 10 years. My master's work on oak hybridization gave me training in evolutionary ecology and phylogenetics, and my interest in this work continues. My PhD training included a combination of physiological and behavioral ecology to allow me to work in the overlap area between these two specializations. This background has allowed me to teach geometry and vertebrate anatomy, evolution and invertebrate zoology, and to work with students on varied questions they wish to pursue. I most enjoy working outside, whether it is in the prairie, forest or an Oklahoma stream, learning something new each day about the living world.

Education and Degrees Earned

  • The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104
    Degree: Bachelor of Science in Education with honors, 1975
    Major: Life Sciences
  • The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104
    Degree: Master of Science in Natural Science, 1977
    Major: Biology
    Thesis: A study of interspecific hybridization in a natural oak population with particular regard to introgression
  • The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019
    Degree: Doctor of Philosophy, 1996
    Major: Zoology
    Dissertation: Reproductive ecology of Gryllotalpa major (prairie mole cricket)

Areas of Research Focus

  • Vibrational communication in animals
  • Evolution of communication via constructed devices
  • Long-term monitoring project of the White Oak Prairie population of the prairie mole cricket, Gryllotalpa major
  • Sound fields and male spacing patterns: making oneself heard as an individual
  • Male and female wing morphology in the Gryllotalpidae: evidence from SEM studies
  • Phylogeny of the family Gryllotalpidae (Insecta: Orthoptera): morphological and DNA sequencing support
  • Testing hypotheses of lek formation in G. major: the hotshot model
  • Harmonic content of the calling song and mating success in G. major
  • Passive attraction vs active female choice in systems where display is through acoustics
  • Floral constancy in nectar-feeding insects

Previous Teaching Experience

  • 24 years at the University of Tulsa
  • 10 years for Tulsa Public Schools

Previous Relevant Work Experience

Small amount of ecological consulting

Professional Affiliations

  • Sigma Xi
  • Animal Behavior Society
  • International Society of Behavioral Ecologists
  • Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (formerly American Society of Zoologists)
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Kansas (Central States) Entomological Society
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • The Orthopterists' Society
  • The Acoustical Society of America

Courses Taught at TU

  • Comparative Animal Physiology (BIOL 3234/6234)
  • Environmental Ethics and Conservation (BIOL 4383/6383)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (BIOL 1023)

Awards & Recognition

  • 2010 Medicine Wheel Award - Outstanding Community Service.
  • University of Tulsa, Mortar Board Society, 2001, Engineering and Natural Sciences College Faculty Member of the Year
  • U.S. Department of Education, GAANN (Graduate Assistants in Areas of National Need) Fellowship, University of Oklahoma, 1993-95.
  • University of Tulsa, Minority Student Affairs Office, 1989, Minority Award for Outstanding Contribution to Multiculturalism
  • University of Tulsa, College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, 2001, Nominee for Outstanding Teacher
  • University of Tulsa, Student Senate, 1998, Lewis M. Duncan Outstanding Advisor Award
  • University of Tulsa, Student-Athlete Advisory Council, 1999, Faculty Member of the Year


  • Padhi, Abinash, Richard E. Young, Jr., Cara Hoffart, Trevor Sarratt, Jennifer Fancher, Michael Steffen and Peggy S.M. Hill. 2010. Investigating genetic relationships within the Gryllotalpidae: A molecular hypothesis. Journal of Orthoptera Research, 19:357 - 360.

  • Hill, Peggy S.M. 2010, Introduction in The Use of Vibrations in Communication: Properties, mechanisms and function across taxa. C. E. O'Connell-Rodwell (ed). pp. 1 - 8. Kerala, India: Research Signpost. (ISBN: 978-81-7895-451-6)

  • Hill, Peggy S. M., 2009, How do animals use substrate-borne vibrations as an information source? (Review) Natursissenschaften, 96:1355 - 1371

  • Hill, Peggy S.M., 2008. Vibrational Communication in Animals. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

  • Hill, Peggy S. M., Harrington Wells and John R. Shadley. 2006. Singing from a constructed burrow: Why vary the shape of the burrow mouth? Journal of Orthoptera Research, 15: 23-29.

  • Hill, Peggy S.M. 2001. Vibration and animal communication: a review. American Zoologist, 41:1135-1142.

  • Hill, Peggy S. M. 1998. Environmental and social influences on calling effort in the prairie mole cricket (Gryllotalpa major). Behavioral Ecology, 9:101-108.

  • Hill, P.S.M. and J.R. Shadley. 1997. Substrate vibration as a component of a calling song. Naturwissenschaften, 84:460-463.

  • Hill, Peggy S. M., Patrick H. Wells and Harrington Wells. 1997. Spontaneous flower constancy and learning in honey bees as a function of colour. Animal Behaviour, 54:615-627.

  • Hill, Peggy S.M. 1999. Lekking in Gryllotalpa major, the prairie mole cricket (Insecta: Gryllotalpidae). Ethology, 105:531-545.