Ecology and Evolution

Region:

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

Related Publications

2015
Calsbeek, R.; Sinervo, B. Uncoupling direct and indirect components of female choice in the wild. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2015, 99, 14897–14902. PDF
2015
Janeček, S.; Bartoš, M.; Njabo, K. Y. Convergent evolution of sunbird pollination systems of Impatiens species in tropical Africa and hummingbird systems of the New World. Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 2015; DOI 10.1111/bij.12475.
2015
Larison, B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Thomassen, H.; Rubenstein, D. I.; Chan-Golston, A. M.; Li, E.; Smith, T. B. How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions. Royal Society Open Science 2015, 2; DOI 10.1098/rsos.140452.
2014
Lauron, E. J.; Loiseau, C.; Bowie, R. C.; Spicer, G. S.; Smith, T. B.; Melo, M.; Sehgal, R. N. Coevolutionary patterns and diversification of avian malaria parasites in African Sunbirds (Family Nectariniidae). Parasitology 2014; DOI 10.1017/S0031182014001681.
2014
Carroll, S. P.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Kinnison, M. T.; Bergstrom, C. T.; Denison, R. F.; Gluckman, P.; Smith, T. B.; Strauss, S. Y.; Tabashnik, B. E. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges. Science 2014, 346; DOI 10.1126/science.1245993.
2014
Ruegg, K. C.; Anderson, E. C.; Boone, J.; Pouls, J.; Smith, T. B. A role for migration-linked genes in genomic islands in divergence of a songbird. Molecular Ecology 2014, 23 (19), 4757–4769; DOI 10.1111/mec.12842.
2014
Chasar, A.; Harrigan, R. J.; Holbrook, K. M.; Dietsch, T. V.; Fuller, T. L.; Wikelski, M.; Smith, T. B. Spatial and temporal patterns of frugivorous hornbill movements in Central Africa and their implications for rain forest conservation. Biotropica 2014, 46, 763–770; DOI 10.1111/btp.12160.
2013
Smith, T. B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Kirschel, A. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Blumstein, D. T.; de Kort, S. R.; Slabbekoorn, H. Predicting bird song from space. Evolutionary Applications 2013, 865–874; DOI 10.1111/eva.12072. PDF
2013
Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Peralvo, M.; Wolfgang, B.; Mila, B.; Kieswetter, C. M.; Jarrin-V, P.; Cameron Devitt, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R. M.; Schluneggar, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C. H.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B. Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biology 2013, 280; DOI 10.1098/rspb.2013.1237. PDF
2012
Olveras de Ita, A.; Oyama, K.; Smith, T. B.; Wayne, R. K.; Milá, B. Genetic evidence for recent range fragmentation and severely restricted dispersal in the critically endangered Sierra Madre Sparrow, Xenospiza baileyi. Conservation Genetics 2012, 13, 283–291. PDF
2012
Chaves, J. A.; Parker, P. G.; Smith, T. B. Origins and population history of a recent colonizer, the yellow warbler in Galapagos and Cocos Islands. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2012, 25, 509–521; DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2011.02447.x.
2012
Milá, B.; Tavares, E. S.; Saldana, A. M.; Karubian, J.; Smith, T. B.; Baker, A. J. A trans-Amazonian screening of mtDNA reveals deep intraspecific divergence in forest birds and suggests a vast underestimation of species diversity. PLoS ONE 2012, 7 (7); DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0040541. PDF
2011
Chaves, J. A.; Smith, T. B. Evolutionary patterns of diversification in the Andean hummingbird genus Adelomyia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2011, 60, 207–218. PDF
2010
Loiseau, C.; Iezhova, T. A.; Balkiunas, G.; Chasar, A.; Hutchinson, A.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N. Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species. Journal of Parasitology 2010, 96, 21–29; DOI 10.1645/GE-2123.1. PDF
2009
Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Cohen, R. E.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.; Slabbekoorn, H. Birdsong tuned to the environment: green hylia song varies with elevation, tree cover, and noise. Behavioral Ecology 2009, 29, 1089–1095.
2009
Berg, E. C.; McCormack, J. E.; Smith, T. B. Test of an adaptive hypothesis for egg speckling along an elevational gradient in a population of Mexican jays (Aphelocoma ultramarina). Journal of Avian Biology 2009, 40, 448–452; DOI 10.1111/j.1600-048X.2008.04632.x. PDF
2009
Calsbeek, R.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B. Parallel shifts in ecology and natural selection in an island lizard. BMC Evolutionary Biology 2009, 9 (3); DOI 10.1186/1471-2148-9-3. PDF
2008
McCormack, J. E.; Bowen, B. S.; Smith, T. B. Integrating paleoecology and genetics of bird populations in two sky island archipelagos. BMC Biology 2008, 6 (28); DOI 10.1186/1741-7007-6-28. PDF
2008
Calsbeek, R.; Bonneaud, C. Postcopulatory fertilization bias as a form of cryptic sexual selection. Evolution 2008, 62 (5), 1137–1148. PDF
2008
McCormack, J. E.; Smith, T. B. Niche expansion leads to small-scale adaptive differentiation along an elevation gradient in a medium-sized passerine bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 2008, 275, 2155–2164. PDF
2008
Karubian, J.; Sillett, T. S.; Webster, M. S. The effects of delayed plumage maturation on aggression and survival in male red-backed fairy-wrens. Behavioral Ecology 2008, 19 (3), 508–516; 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 2008, 39, 81–86. PDF
2008
Karubian, J.; Carrasco, L. Home range and habitat preferences of the banded ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 2008, 120 (1), 205–209. PDF
2008
Tori, W. P.; Duraes, R.; Ryder, T. B.; Anciaes, M.; Karubian, J.; Macedo, R. H.; Uy, J. A.; Parker, P. G.; Smith, T. B.; Stein, A. C.; Webster, M. S.; Blake, J. G.; Loiselle, B. A. Advances in sexual selection theory: insights from tropical avifauna. Neotropical Ornithology 2008, 19, 151–163. PDF
2007
Calsbeek, R.; Smith, T. B. Probing the adaptive landscape using experimental islands: density dependent natural selection on lizard body size. Evolution 2007, 61, 1052–1061. PDF
2007
Karubian, J.; Carrasco, L.; Cabrera, D.; Cook, A.; Olivo, J. Nesting biology of the banded ground-cuckoo (Neomorphus radiolosus). Wilson Journal of Ornithology 2007, 119, 222–228. PDF
2007
Calsbeek, R.; Bonneaud, C.; Prabhu, S.; Manoukis, N.; Smith, T. B. Multiple paternity and sperm storage lead to increased genetic diversity in Anolis lizards. Evolutionary Ecology Research 2007, 9, 495–503. PDF
2007
Calsbeek, R.; Smith, T. B.; Knouft, J. H.; Bardeleben, C. Intraspecific variation in Anolis sagrei mirrors the adaptive radiation of Greater Antillean anoles. Biological Journal of the Linnean Socity 2007, 90, 189–199. PDF
2007
Chaves, J. A.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B.; LeBuhn, G. The role of geography and ecology in shaping the phylogeography of the speckled hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys) in Ecuador. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 2007, 43, 795–807; DOI 10.1016/j.ympev.2006.11.006. PDF
2006
Calsbeek, R.; Marnocha, E. Context dependent territory defense: the importance of habitat structure in Anolis sagrei. Ethology 2006, 112, 537–543. PDF
2006
Calsbeek, R.; Knouft, J. H.; Smith, T. B. Variation in scale numbers is consistent wtih ecologically based natural selection acting within and between lizard species. Evolutionary Ecology 2006, 20, 377–392. PDF
2005
Karubian, J.; Fabara, J.; Yunes, D.; Jorgenson, J. P.; Romo, D.; Smith, T. B. Temporal and spatial patterns of macaw abundance in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Condor 2005, 107, 617–626. PDF
2004
Calsbeek, R.; Sinervo, B. Within clutch variation in offspring sex determined by differences in sire body size. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2004, 17, 464–470. PDF
2003
Karubian, J.; Casteñeda, G.; Freile, J. F.; Salazar, R. T.; Santander, T.; Smith, T. B. Nesting biology of a female Long-wattled Umbrellabird Cephalopterus penduliger in north-western Ecuador. Bird Conservation International 2003, 13, 351–360. PDF
2003
Sinervo, B.; Calsbeek, R. Physiological epistasis, ontogenetic conflict and natural selection on physiology and life history. Integrative and Comparative Biology 2003, 43 (3), 419–430. PDF
2003
Calsbeek, R.; Smith, T. B. Ocean currents mediate evolution in island lizards. Nature 2003, 426, 552–555. PDF
2003
Calsbeek, R.; Thompson, J. N.; Richardson, J. Patterns of molecular evolution and diversification in a biodiversity hotspot: the California Floristic Province. Molecular Ecology 2003, 12, 1021–1029. PDF
2002
Karubian, J.; Alvarado, A. Testing the function of petal displays in the red-backed fairy-wren. Emu 2002, 103, 87–92. PDF
2002
Karubian, J. Costs and benefits of variable breeding plumage in the red-backed fairy-wren. Evolution 2002, 56 (8), 1673–1682. PDF
2002
Slabbekoorn, H.; Ellers, H. J.; Smith, T. B. Bird song and sound transmission: The benefits of reverberations. Condor 2002, 104, 564–573. PDF
2002
Slabbekoorn, H.; Smith, T. B. Bird song, ecology and speciation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London 2002, 23, 1–11. PDF
2001
Karubian, J.; Swaddle, J. P. Selection on females can lead to 'larger males'. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 2001, 268, 725–728. PDF
2001
Karubian, J. Social organization and mating system of the Striated Grasswren. Condor 2001, 103, 412–418. PDF
2000
Swaddle, J. P.; Karubian, J.; Pruett-Jones, S. A novel pattern of reversed sexual dimorphism in fairy-wrens: implications for sexual selection. Behavioral Ecology 2000, 11, 345–349. PDF
2000
Wetterer, J. K.; Wetterer, A. L.; Rumbaitis-del Rio, C.; Chang, C.; Vega, G.; Manne, L. L.; Aukema, J.; Karubian, J.; Sloan, A.; Desai, M. Diel shifts in treehopper-tending by ants and wasps in Costa Rica. Sociobiology 2000, 36, 123–131.
2000
Hall, L. S.; Karubian, J. Breeding behavior of the elecant trogon in southeast Arizona. The Auk 2000, 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 cgomez@lifesci.ucla.edu. Visitors are always welcome.

Back to Top