Ecology and Evolution


Africa, Australia, Bahamas, Canada (British Columbia), Ecuador

Our research links behavior to ecology, conservation, and evolution in a wide range of systems around the world. Past research has focused on how behavioral variation impacts basic ecological processes such as seed dispersal in tropical forests. Other research projects address the evolution of sexual dimorphism and mate choice and the fitness consequences of behavioral variation in several taxa, including lizards and birds. We link behavior to the conservation of endangered species, the distributions of different taxa, and the dynamics of populations as they move between breeding and overwintering grounds. We use a broad range of techniques to study behavior, including observations, field and laboratory-based experiments, and molecular approaches such as microsatellites and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP).

Current Projects

The Role of Sexual Selection in Speciation in Pacific Island Songbirds (click here to download PDF)

Related Publications

2014 Smith TB, Kinnison MT, Straus SY, Fuller TL, Carrol SP. Prescriptive evolution to conserve and manage biodiversity. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 45:1.1-1.22. doi:10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-120213-091747
2013 Fuller, T.L., Thomassen H.A., Peralvo M., Buermann W., Mila B., Kieswetter C. M., Jarrin V.P., Cameron Devitt S.E., Mason E., Schweizer R.M., Schlinegger J., Chan J., Wang O., Schneider C.J., Pollinger P.J., Saatchi S., Graham C.H., Wayne R.K., Smith T.B. Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones. Proceeds of the Royal Society Biological Sciences, 280, 20130423 PDF
2013 Smith, T.B., R. Harrigan, A. Kirsche, W. Buermann, S. Saatchi, D. Blumstein, S. de Kort, H. Slabbekoorn. Predicting birdsong from space. Evolutionary Applications. DOI: 10.1111/eva.12072. PDF
2012 Chaves, J.A., P.G. Parker, T.B. Smith. Origina and population history of a recent colonizer, the yellow warbler in Galapagos and Cocos Islands. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25: 509-521.
2012 Mila, B., E.S. Tavares, A.M. Saldana, J. Karubian, T.B. Smith, A.J. Baker. A trans-Amazonian screening of mtDNA reveals deep intraspecific divergence in forest birds and suggests a vast underestimation of species diversity. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40541. PDF
2012 Oliveras de Ita A., Oyama K., Smith T.B., Wayne R.K., Mila B. Genetic evidence for recent range fragmentation and severely restricted dispersal in the critically endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow, Xenospiza baileyi. Conservation Genetics 13: 283-291. PDF
2011 Chaves, J.A. and T. B. Smith. Evolutionary patterns of diversification in the Andean hummingbird genus Adelomyia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 60: 207-218. PDF
2009 Kirschel, A. N. G., D. T. Blumstein, R. E. Cohen, W. Buermann, T. B. Smith, and H. Slabbekoorn. Birdsong tuned to the environment: green hylia song varies with elevation, tree cover, and noise. Behavioral Ecology 20: 1089-1095. PDF
2009 Berg, E. C., J. E. McCormack, and T. B. Smith. Test of an adaptive hypotheses for egg speckling along an elevational gradient in a population of Mexican jays (Aphelocoma ultramarina). Journal of Avian Biology 40: 448-452. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2008.04632.x. PDF
2009 Calsbeek, R., W. Buermann, and T. B. Smith. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 3. PDF
2008 McCormack, J. E., B. S. Bowen, and T. B. Smith. Integrating paleoecology and genetics of bird populations in two sky island archipelagos. BMC Biology 6: 28. PDF
2008 Calsbeek, R. and C. Bonneaud. Postcopulatory fertilization bias as a form of cryptic sexual selection. Evolution 62-5: 1137-1148. PDF
2008 McCormack, J. E., and T. B. Smith. Niche expansion leads to small-scale adaptive differentiation along an elevation gradient in a medium-sized passerine bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 275: 2155-2164. PDF
2008 Karubian, J., T.S. Sillett, and M.S. Webster. The effects of delayed plumage maturation on
aggression and survival in male red-backed fairy-wrens. Behavioral Ecology doi:10.1093/beheco/arm159. PDF
2008 Karubian, J. Changes in breeding status are associated with rapid bill darkening in male red-backed fairy-wrens Malurus melanocephalus. Journal of Avian Biology 39: 81-86. PDF
2008 Karubian, J. and L. Carrasco. Home Range and Habitat Preferences of the Banded Ground-cuckoo
(Neomorphus radiolosus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120(1):205–209. PDF
2008 Tori, W.P., R. Duraes, T.B. Ryder, M. Anciaes, J. Karubian, R.H. Macedo, J.A.C. Uy, P.G. Parker, T.B. Smith, A.C. Stein, M.S. Webster, J.G. Blake, and B.A. Loiselle. Advances in sexual selection theory: insights from tropical avifauna. Neotropical Ornithology 19 (Suppl): 151-163. PDF
2007 Karubian, J., L. Carrasco, D. Cabrera, A. Cook, and J. Olivo. Nesting biology of the banded-ground cuckoo. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119: 222-228.PDF
2007 Calsbeek, R., C. Bonneaud, S. Prabhu, N. Manoukis, and T. B. Smith. Multiple paternity and sperm storage lead to increased genetic diversity in Anolis lizards. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9: 495-503. PDF
2007 Calsbeek, R., and T. B. Smith. Probing the adaptive landscape using experimental islands: density dependent natural selection on lizard body size. Evolution 61: 1052-1061. PDF
2007 Chaves, J. A., J. Pollinger, T. B. Smith, and G. Lebuhn. The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43: 795-807. PDF
2007 Calsbeek, R., T.B. Smith, J.H. Knouft, and C. Bardeleben. Intraspecific variation in Anolis sagrei mirrors the adaptive radiation of Greater Antillean anoles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 90: 189-199. PDF
2007 Karubian, J., L. Carrasco, D. Cabrera, A. Cook, and J. Olivo. Nesting biology of the banded ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus). The Wilson Journal of ornithology 119: 222-228. PDF
2006 Calsbeek, Ryan and Erin Marnocha. Context dependent territory defense: the importance of habitat structure in Anolis sagrei. Ethology 112: 537-543. PDF
2006 Calsbeek, R., J.H. Knouft, and T.B. Smith. Variation in scale numbers is consistent with ecologically based natural selection acting within and between lizard species. Evolutionary Ecology 20: 377-394. PDF
2005 Karubian, J., J. Fabara, D. Yunes, J.P. Jorgenson, D. Romo, and T.B. Smith. Temporal and spatial patterns of macaw abundance in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Condor 107: 617-626. PDF
2004 Calsbeek, R., and B. Sinervo. Within clutch variation in offspring sex determined by differences in sire body size. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 17: 464-470. PDF
2003 Karubian, J., G. Castañeda, J. F. Freile, R. T. Salazar, T. Santander, and T. B. Smith. Nesting biology of a female Long-wattled Umbrellabird Cephalopterus penduliger in north-western Ecuador. Bird Conservation International 13: 351-360. PDF
2003 Karubian, J., G. Casteneda, J.F. Freile, T. Santander, and T.B. Smith. Breeding biology and nesting behavior of the long-wattled umbrellabird Cephalopterus penduliger in northwestern Ecuador. Bird Conservation International 13:351-360. PDF
2003 Sinervo, B., and R. Calsbeek. Physiological epistasis, ontogenetic conflict and natural selection on physiology and life history. Integrative and Comparative Biology 43 (3): 419-430. PDF
2003 Calsbeek, R., and T. B. Smith. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards. Nature 426: 552-555. PDF
2003 Calsbeek, R., J.N. Thompson, and J. Rchardson. Patterns of molecular evolution and diversification in a biodiversity hotspot: the California Floristic Province. Molecular Ecology 12: 1021-1029. PDF
2002 Karubian, J. and A. Alvarado. Testing the function of petal displays in the red-backed fairy-wren. Emu 103:87-92. PDF
2002 Karubian, J. Costs and benefits of variable breeding plumage in the red-backed fairy-wren. Evolution 56(8): 1673-1682. PDF
2002 Slabbekoorn, H., J. Ellers, and T. B. Smith. Bird song and sound transmission: The benefits of reverberations. Condor 104: 564-573. PDF
2002 Calsbeek, R., and B. Sinervo. Uncoupling direct and indirect components of female choice in the wild. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99: 14897-14902. PDF
2002 Slabbekoorn, H., and T. B. Smith. Bird song, ecology and speciation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London 23: 1-11. PDF
2001 Karubian, J. and J.P. Swaddle. Selection on females can lead to ‘larger males’. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B) 268: 725-728. PDF
2001 Karubian, J. Social organization and mating system of the Striated Grasswren. Condor 103:412-418. PDF
2000 Swaddle, J.P., J. Karubian, and S. Pruett-Jones. A novel pattern of reversed sexual dimorphism in fairy-wrens: implications for sexual selection. Behavioral Ecology 11: 345-349. PDF
2000 Wetterer, J.K., A.L. Wetterer, C. Rumbaitis-del Rio, C. Chang, G. Vega, L.L. Manne, J. Aukema, J. Karubian, A. Sloan, and M. Desai. Diel shifts in treehopper-tending by wasps and ants in Costa Rica. Sociobiology 36: 123-131.
2000 Hall, L.S., and J. Karubian. Breeding behavior of the elegant trogon in southeast Arizona. Auk 113:143-150. PDF

CTR Bird

Center for Tropical Research | UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300 | 619 Charles E. Young Dr. East | Los Angeles, CA 90095-1496

The Center for Tropical Research, located on the third floor of La Kretz Hall, is part of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at the University of California, Los Angeles. For general inquiries, contact Christa Gomez, CTR Office Manager, at 310-206-6234, or by email at Visitors are always welcome.

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