Eric Pianka's Past Graduate Students


Graduate Students who have graduated



Raymond B. Huey (M. A., 1969). "Ecological Relations of Sympatric Phyllodactylus in the Sechura Desert of Peru." Ph. D., Harvard University (1975). Miller Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Univ. California at Berkeley; Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
W. Frank Blair was actually Huey's supervisor, but I was on his committee and we spent a lot of time together before he became my research assistant and we studied the ecology of Kalahari Desert lizards. He and I both consider our mentor-pupil relationship as an unofficial sponsorship.

Richard D. Howard (M. A., 1972). "Influence of Sexual Selection and Interspecific Competition on Mockingbird Song." Ph. D., University of Michigan (1977). Professor, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana.



Jos. J. Schall (Ph. D., 1976). "Comparative Ecology of Sympatric Parthenogenetic and Bisexual Species of Cnemidophorus." Professor, University of Vermont, Burlington.



Nancy T. Burley (Ph. D., 1977). "Mate Choice and Sexual Selection in the Pigeon, Columba livia." Assistant Professor, McGill University, 1977-1979; Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1979-1984; Associate Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1984-1989; Professor, University of Illinois, Urbana, 1989- 1991; Professor, Univ. California, Irvine.

Anthony J. Joern (Ph. D., 1977). Co-sponsored with L. R. Lawlor, "Guild and Community Structure in Primary Consumers: Resource Utilization in Arid Grassland Grasshopper Communities (Orthoptera: Acrididae)." Professor, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Professor, Kansas State University.


Mary Lee Wissink George (Ph. D., 1980). "Hummingbird foraging behavior and pollination energetics of Malvaviscus arboreus."

Duncan A. MacKay (Ph. D., 1982) Co-sponsored with M. Singer, "Search behavior and host plant selection by ovipositing Euphydryas editha butterflies." Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, Bedford Park, South Australia.


Christopher Schneider (M. S., 1987). "Comparative ecology of two guilds of shorebirds on the south Texas coast." (Ph. D., 1993), University of California at Berkeley. Associate Professor, Boston University.


Kirk O. Winemiller (Ph. D., 1987). Co-sponsored with C. Hubbs, "Tests of ecomorphological and community level convergence among neotropical stream fish assemblages." Fulbright Research Scholar to Zambia, 1988-89. Research Associate, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Department of Zoology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1989- 1992. George Mercer Award, Ecological Society of America, 1992. Regents Professor, Texas A & M University.

Mitchell A. Leslie (M. A., 1988). "The evolutionary omission: Lizard displays and evolution." Curator, Texas Memorial Museum, Austin, Texas, 1988-91. Editor, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Austin, Texas, 1991-97. Science Writer, Stanford University Medical School. Currently a freelance science writer for Science magazine, among others.

Daniel T. Haydon (Ph. D., 1992). "Stability and complexity revisited." Postdoctoral research associate, Oxford University, U.K.; University of British Columbia; Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Midlothian, Scotland; Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Professor, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland; Zoological Society of London's Scientific Medal, awarded to a scientist under the age of 40 years, for distinguished work in Zoology, 2006. Fellow, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2008--. Director, Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. Spotlight on an Alumnus

Ray R. Radtkey (Ph. D., 1993) Co-sponsored with M. Singer, "Evaluating the role of ecological interactions in species evolution: two examples combining historical and ecological information." Postdoctoral Research Associate, Univ. Calif. San Diego, La Jolla. Director of Product Development and Product Support at Nanogen, San Diego. Currently Vice President, Product Development and Quality, Nanomix, Oakland.

Gad Perry (Ph.D. 1995). The Evolutionary Ecology of Lizard Foraging: A Comparative Study." Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Ohio State University; Postdoctoral, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Associate Professor of Conservation Biology at Texas Tech University, Lubbock.


Monica Swartz (Ph.D. 1997). "Behavioral and population ecology of the army ant Eciton burchelli and ant-following birds." Fulbright to Costa Rica, 1993-94. Taught a field course in Amazonian Peru for Evergreen College, Olympia, Washington. Taught a field course in the neotropical Ecuador for Boston University. Postdoc at the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of California, Riverside. 2002-2004; Scientist for Coachella Valley Water District. Director of the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, Associate Professor of Biology, St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas.

Nancy Heger (Ph.D. 2000). The impact of size on thermal efficiency: size related costs and benefits in Varanus giganteus. Taught at Southwest Texas University; Senior Systems Analyst at the University of Texas. Assistant Professor, Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma. GIS Analyst, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.


L. Ramki Ramakrishnan (Ph.D. 2000). Environmental variability and ecological dynamics in spatially structured populations. Taught at the University of Texas before returning to India. Currently population scientist and Country Director of 'Solidarity and Action against the HIV Infection in India' in Chennai, India.

W. Bryan Jennings (Ph.D. 2002). Phylogeny, ecology, and the nature of cladogenesis in Australian pygopodid lizards. Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Washington, Seattle, and the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University. Assistant Professor, Humboldt State University.

Wendy L. Hodges (Ph.D. 2002). Phrynosoma systematics, comparative reproductive ecology, and conservation of a Texas native. Postdoctoral at the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of California, Riverside, 2002; 2003-2004 NSF Bioinformatics Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of California, Riverside. Assistant Professor, University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

Carla Guthrie (Ph. D., 2005). Co-sponsored with Larry Gilbert. Diversity in Motion: The influence of dispersal and metacommunity spatial structure in Heliconia phyteltomata. Natural Resource Specialist, Texas Water Development Board.


Stephen E. Goodyear (M. A., 2011). Variation in diet and habitat resource use in desert adapted lizards in Western Australia.




Alison M. Gainsbury (Ph. D., 2012). Brazilian Central Cerrado Lizards in Introduced Eucalyptus Plantations: Human Mediated Habitat Disturbance Effects from Community Diversity to Population Divergence.



  • To all prospective graduate students
  • Courses Taught by E.R.Pianka
  • Herpetology at UT
  • Pianka's Ten Commandments
  • "Obituary" (Dead for a Day)




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