Dr. Joseph Tobias
Dr. Joseph Tobias
DetailsName: Dr. Joseph Tobias
Position: Departmental Lecturer
After completing a PhD at Cambridge (1996), I worked with BirdLife International and IUCN, co-authoring a series of conservation action plans and books. I joined the EGI in January 2006, took up a Departmental Lectureship in January 2009, and became a Research Fellow of Somerville College in October 2009.
The broad framework of my research is ‘understanding and conserving biodiversity’. I am interested in integrating approaches from evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, community ecology and macroecology to answer questions like:
- How do animal signals and signalling behaviour evolve, and what is their role in speciation?
- How do species interactions shape phenotypic evolution and spatial patterns of diversity?
- What are the impacts of land use and climate change on tropical systems, and how can they be mitigated?
MEDIA AND OUTREACH
I am interested in communicating about science and conservation to the public. My work has been widely covered in newspapers, on radio and on the web (see below), and features in several education sites (e.g.Today’s Science). I have written popular articles about tropical research and ornithology (e.g. 1, 2), and produced local and regional field guides and education materials for tropical countries (e.g. hummingbirds; antbirds; Bolivian birds).
I am a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, a Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for Tropical Research (University of California, Los Angeles), and a member of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests. I convene undergraduate courses on Evolutionary Ecology and Quantitative Methods, and teach on the annual undergraduate fieldcourses at Orielton, Pembrokeshire, and Danum Valley, Borneo. For a gallery of images, pdfs, and more information about ongoing projects www.neomorphus.com.
Tobias, J.A., Montgomerie, R., Lyon, B. 2012. The evolution of female ornaments and weaponry: sexual selection, social selection and ecological competition. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. B. 367: 2274-2293 | Read paper
Salisbury, C., Seddon, N., Cooney, C., Tobias, J.A. 2012. The latitudinal gradient in dispersal constraints: ecological specialisation drives diversification in tropical birds. Ecology Letters 15: 847-855. | Read paper
Derryberry, E.P., Seddon, N., Claramunt, S., Tobias, J.A., Baker, A., Aleixo, A., Brumfield, R.T. 2012. Correlated evolution of beak morphology and song in the Neotropical woodcreeper radiation. Evolution 66: 2784–2797 | Read paper
Tobias, J.A., Gamarra-Toledo, V., Garcia-Olaechea, D., Pulgarin, P.C., Seddon, N. 2011. Year-round resource defence and the evolution of male and female song in suboscine birds: social armaments are mutual ornaments. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 24: 2118-2138. | Read paper
Tobias, J.A., Aben, J., Brumfield, R.T., Derryberry, E., Halfwerk, W., Slabbekoorn, H. & Seddon, N. 2010. Song divergence by sensory drive in Amazonian birds. Evolution 64: 2820–2839. | Read Paper | Front cover
Seddon, N., Tobias, J.A. 2010. Character displacement from the receiver’s perspective: species and mate-recognition despite convergent signals in suboscine birds. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277: 2475-2483. | Read Paper
Tobias, J.A., Seddon, N. 2009. Signal design and perception in Hypocnemis antbirds: evidence for convergent evolution via social selection. Evolution 63: 3169-3189. | Read Paper | Press release | Science |BBC | Science Daily | ESA
Tobias, J.A., Bates, J.M., Hackett, S., Seddon, N. 2008. Comment on “The Latitudinal Gradient in Recent Speciation and Extinction Rates of Birds and Mammals”. Science 319: 901c. | Read Paper
Seddon, N., Merrill, R. M., Tobias, J.A. 2008. Sexually selected traits predict patterns of species richness in a diverse clade of suboscine birds. American Naturalist 171: 620-631. | Read Paper