• NSF Postdoctoral Fellow

    working in The Rosenblum lab at UC Berkeley and The Bell Lab at the Smithsonian


    Want to see what's happening in the lab? Check out my research news.

    Also, click on research projects and methods with links below to get more information and sneak peak results.

    One of my current research projects focuses on the evolution of ‘earlessness’ in anurans. Specifically, I am trying to understand the developmental causes and physiological consequences of losing middle and outer ear structures by studying the bufonid family (toads) in which many species have independently lost and regained these structures.

    Methods include: phylogenetic comparisons, auditory brainstem recordings, histology & 3D reconstructions, MicoCT & geometric morphometrics, developmental series, phylogenomics, genome size comparisons.

    As part of an NSF funded postdoctoral study working with museum collections, I am analyzing the evolution of the anuran skeleton to better understand the constraints and selection pressures that dictate evolutionary convergence as well as the limits of morphological evolution.

    Methods include: phylogenetic comparisons, MicoCT & geometric morphometrics.

    Histological comparisons of salamander tail autotomy

    In collaboration with Michael Itgen in the Mueller Lab, I have started a new project investigating the detailed morphology of tail autotomy in different salamander groups.

    Methods include: phylogenetic comparisons, histology & 3D reconstructions.

    Brains and behavior of guppies

    I am comparing neuron tracts in the brains of guppies, Poecilia reticulata​, to look for morphological differences in the brain associated with behavioral differences.




    Molly Womack



    Broadly, I am interested in the morphological, physiological and developmental mechanisms behind adaptations seen in nature. These adaptations range from perplexing morphologies to behavioral traits. I am also interested in convergent evolution, specifically the ecological pressures and developmental constraints that shape similar phenotypes in different species.



    Please contact me if you are an educator interested in future classroom outreach.

    I enjoy teaching all levels of students about topics ranging from frogs to scientific research.

    Past schools include:

    • Cheyenne Mountain High School
    • Bacon Elementary
    • Polaris Expeditionary Learning School

    Public Events

    A collaborator (Ty Fiero) is featured above showing off eared and earless skulls both on an interactive tablet and with 3D printed models.

    I have been fortunate to participate in many public outreach events including:

    • Meet the Animals Day, Fort Collins Musuem Of Discovery 
    • USA Science and Engineering Festival Expo, Washington DC
    • Save the Frogs Day, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery

    Providing undergraduate students with research opportunities and giving them the tools to create their own independent projects is one of my favorite researcher perks!


    Below are CSU undergraduates I am currently working with on publications from work produced in the Hoke lab.

    Ty Fiero


    Ty is majoring in microbiology and minoring in Zoology. He has had a passion for reptiles and amphibians most of his life.


    Meredith Voyles


    Meredith is majoring in biological sciences and minoring in computer science. Her interests include physiology, bioinformatics, drawing and painting.