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Research

Overview

My lab has tackled questions ranging from identifying new microbial species1 to documenting ecological impacts of biological invasions2-4. We have examined evolutionary relationships5,6, documented fitness consequences7-11, explored the development of traits12, and sought to understand biological mechanisms13-16. We have studied solitary17 and group living animals18, we have published on microbes19, invertebrates20, and vertebrates21,22, and we have used behavioral23-25, mathematical26-28, and laboratory techniques29,30 to answer our questions. Along the way we have developed techniques31,32 and consolidated information33,34.

At my core, I am a scientist who studies the way behavior facilitates an animal's (or a group's) ability to survive and reproduce. I intend to maintain the broad approach that my lab has grown to embrace. This approach will allow me to further develop:

  1. the honey bee as a model system for disease transmission through natural populations,
  2. the paper wasp as a model genus for behavioral and microbial ecology, and for invasion biology, and
  3. the wool carder bee as a model system for studying recognition systems, mate choice, and the selective maintenance of alternative phenotypes.

Although these projects are large enough for any healthy lab, I will continue to work on phylogenetically diverse subjects, and to tackle those questions that lend themselves well to generating solid falsifiable predictions.

Representative references (for additional references please see publications)

  1. Madden et al. In Press. J. Systematic & Evol Microbiol.
  2. Starks. 2003. Trends Ecol & Evol. 18: 159-162
  3. Liebert et al. 2006. Ann Zool Fenn 43: 595-624
  4. Dapporto et al. 2009. Biochemical Systematics and Ecol 37: 341-348
  5. Shrestha et al. 2011. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018046
  6. Madden et al. In Revision
  7. Payne et al. 2011. Apidologie. 42: 181-191
  8. Madden et al. 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 257-260
  9. Liebert et al. 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 457-463
  10. Wilson-Rich & Starks. 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 47-52
  11. Eskenazi et al. 2007. J. Medical Hypotheses 69: 1183-1189
  12. Wilson-Rich et al. 2008. J. Insect Physiology 54: 1392-1399
  13. Wilson-Rich et al. 2009. Annual Review of Entomology 54: 405-23
  14. Weiner et al. 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 157-162
  15. Weiner et al. 2009. Naturwissenschaften 96: 297-302
  16. Wilson-Rich & Starks. 2010. Insectes Sociaux 57: 47-52
  17. Starks. 2002. Ann Zool Fenn 39: 307-315
  18. Starks & Fefferman. 2006. Ann Zool Fenn 43: 456-467
  19. Johnson et al. 2005. Journal of Apicultural Research. 44: 29-32
  20. Gravel et al. 2004. Ann Zool Fenn 41: 477-485
  21. Chrastil et al. 2006. Evolution & Human Behavior 27: 206-223
  22. Ryan et al. 2008. International Journal of Primatology 29: 405-420
  23. Sumana & Starks. 2004. Ethology 110: 825-833
  24. Sumana & Starks. 2004. Naturwissenschaften 91: 220-223
  25. Starks et al. 2004. Behavioral Ecology.16: 128-132.
  26. Starks & Fefferman. 2006 Ann Zool Fenn 43: 456-467
  27. Fefferman & Starks. 2006. Insectes Sociaux. 53: 37-45
  28. Nonacs et al. 2006. American Naturalist 167 (4): 467-480
  29. Weiner et al. 2009. Naturwissenschaften 96: 297-302
  30. Liebert & Starks. 2006. Animal Behaviour 71: 913-923
  31. Starks & Peters. 2002. Insectes Sociaux. 49: 20-22
  32. Wilson-Rich and Starks. In revision
  33. Starks (Ed.) 2004. Ann Zool Fenn 41(6)
  34. Starks & Turillazzi (Eds) 2006. Ann Zool Fenn 43 (5-6): 385-624