Joseph Tobias

Departmental Lecturer


Research Interests

I have broad interests in evolutionary biology, ecology and conservation biology, with a particular focus on the Andes-Amazon avifauna as a model system. The main themes of my research are the processes underlying broad-scale patterns in biodiversity. I am using experiments and phylogenetic analyses to explore a range of topics, including the role of ecological, sexual and social selection in the evolution of signals and signalling behaviour, the mechanisms of speciation and species co-existence, and the impact of land use and climate change on tropical ecosystems. My goal is to understand the forces generating biodiversity and structuring communities, and to apply these insights to conservation strategy.

More information available here.




Selected Publications

    • Pigot, A., Tobias, J.A. 2013. Species interactions constrain geographic range expansion over evolutionary time. Ecology Letters 16: 330-338.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • 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.
    • Tobias, J.A. & Seddon, N. 2009. Signal design and perception in Hypocnemis antbirds: evidence for convergent evolution via social selection. Evolution 63: 3169-3189.
    • Tobias, J.A. & Seddon, N. 2009. Signal jamming mediates sexual conflict in a duetting bird. Current Biology 19: 577-582.