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Sujay Balebail

PhD Candidate Biology

University of Washington

Department of Psychology

316 Guthrie Hall

Seattle, WA 98195

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Sujay graduated from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Pune with a BS-MS in science in April 2017. For his masters' thesis he investigated the landing maneuvers of houseflies (Musca domestica) on walls and ceilings, in the lab of Dr. Sanjay Sane, National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India. He continued working on the problem for an additional year as a research assistant. Sujay demonstrated that as flies approach the landing surface, they begin to slow down at a fixed time in order to avoid colliding with the landing surface. If they did not do so, they end up bumping into the landing surface. As an undergraduate, Sujay also worked in the areas of community ecology, phylogenetics, and comparative anatomy. He joined the Department of Biology at the University of Washington as a graduate student in September 2018, and then joined the Sisneros lab during the Spring 2019.


In the Sisneros lab, Sujay is broadly interested in sound source localization and sexual selection in the plainfin midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus). Specifically, he is interested in the following research questions: 1) What are the behavioral strategies employed by females in sound source localization? 2) How important is pressure detection in determining the position of the humming male? 3) How does the anatomy and biomechanical properties of the otoliths and swim bladder contribute to determining sound direction? 4) Do females attend to features in the male hum to assess male quality?


Balebail S and JA Sisneros. 2023. Natural ambient sounds as sources of biologically relevant information and noise for fishes. In: Popper AN, Sisneros JA, Hawkins, AD, and F Thomsen (Eds). Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life: Principles and Practical Considerations. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Balebail S and JA Sisneros. 2022. Long duration advertisement calls of nesting male plainfin midshipman fish are honest indicators of size and condition. Journal of Experimental Biology 225: jeb243889.

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