Barney Luttbeg, Associate Professor.Behavioral Ecology, Theoretical Ecology, predator-prey interactions, mate choice, plasticity.
Ph.D., 1997, University of California , Davis
I am interested in how individuals assess and react to their environments. This includes questions about how individuals gather information and use that information to estimate the current state of their environment. My work in this area has included investigations of how female threespine sticklebacks visit and assess males, and theoretical investigations of what decision rules produce the highest expected fitness for females. I am currently investigating how evolutionary history and predator behavior shape how prey should use available cues to estimate the current level of predation risk.
How prey behave depends on how predators behave and vice versa. I have been collaborating with Andy Sih and John Hammond to investigate how the spatial distributions prey and predators are shaped by this interaction of prey and predator behaviors. We have used genetic algorithm models to predict prey and predator spatial distributions, and laboratory experiments with Pacific treefrog tadpoles and some of dragonfly larvae predators to view their resulting distributions and the behaviors that form them.
Finally, I am very interested in how the behaviors of individuals form the dynamics of larger systems. An example of this work is a collaboration that I am engaged in with Geoffrey Trussell. We are using the green crab and intertidal snail system that Geoff has worked for many years to investigate how the behavior of the snails is affected by the predation risk imposed by the crabs and by state variables, such as the size and hunger of the snails. We are testing whether the short-term behavioral responses of the snails affect the longer-term dynamics of the ecological system.
I am currently looking for graduate students to join my lab. I would be interested in students that want to work on questions related to flexible behavior and its context within ecology and evolution. I am particularly interested in having students that want to use empirical approaches to test theory.
- Luttbeg B, Trussell GC. (in press) How the informational environment shapes how prey estimate predation risk and the resulting indirect effects of predators. American Naturalist
- Fraker ME, Luttbeg B. (in press) Effects of perceptual and movement ranges on joint predator-prey distributions. Oikos
- Fraker ME, Luttbeg B. 2012. Predator-prey space use and the spatial distribution of predation events. Behaviour 149:555-574.
- Hammond J, Luttbeg B, Brodin T, and Sih A. 2012. Spatial scale influences the outcome of the predator-prey space race between tadpoles and predatory dragonflies. Functional Ecology 26:522-531.
- Trussell GC, Matassa CM, and Luttbeg B. 2011. The effects of variable predation risk on foraging and growth: less risk is not necessarily better. Ecology 92:1799-1806.
- Luttbeg B, Sih A. 2010. Risk, resources and state-dependent adaptive behavioural syndromes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 365:397-3990.
- Sih A, Bolnick DI, Luttbeg B, Orrock JL, Peacor SD, Pintor LM, Preisser E, Rehage JS, Vonesh JR. 2010. Predator-prey naivete, antipredator behavior, and the ecology of predator invasions. Oikos, 119:610-621.
- Luttbeg B, Hammond JI, Sih A. 2009. Dragonfly larvae and tadpole frog space use games in varied light conditions. Behavioral Ecology, 20:13-21.
- Stamps JA, Luttbeg B, Krishnan VV. 2009. Effects of survival on the attractiveness of cues to natal dispersers. American Naturalist, 173:41-46.
- Peckarsky BL, Bolnick D, Dill LM, Grabowski JH, Luttbeg B, Orrock JL, Peacor SD, Preisser E, Schmitz OJ, Trussell GC. 2008. Revisiting the classics: Considering non-consumptive effects in textbook examples of predator-prey interactions. Ecology, 89:2416-2425.
- Hammond JI, Luttbeg B, Sih A. 2007. Predator and prey space use: dragonflies and tadpoles in an interactive game. Ecology, 88:1525-1535.
- McElreath R, Luttbeg B, Fogarty SP, Brodin T, Sih A. 2007. On the evolution of animal personalities. Nature, 450:E5.
- Towner MC, Luttbeg B. 2007. The use of data as evidence for hypotheses in human behavioral ecology. Evolutionary Anthropology 16:107-118.
- Wojdak J, Luttbeg B. 2005. Relative strength of trait-mediated and density-mediated indirect effects vary with resource levels. Oikos, 111:592-598.
- Luttbeg B, Langen TA. 2004. Comparing alternative models to empirical data: cognitive models of Western Scrub-jay foraging behavior. American Naturalist, 163:263-276.
- Luttbeg B, Rowe L, Mangel M. 2003. Prey state and experimental design affect relative size of trait-mediated and density-mediated indirect effects. Ecology, 84:1140-1150 (Special Feature).
- Luttbeg B, Schmitz OJ. 2000. Predator and prey models with flexible individual behavior and imperfect information. American Naturalist, 155:669-683.
- Luttbeg B, Borgerhoff Mulder M, Mangel M. 2000. To marry again or not: a dynamic model of marriage behavior and the demographic transition. In: Cronk L, Chagnon NA, and Irons W, eds. Adaptation and Human Behavior: An Anthropological Perspective. p. 345-368. Aldine de Gruyter, New York.
- Luttbeg B. 1996. A Comparative Bayes tactic for mate assessment and choice. Behavioral Ecology, 7:451-460.