Phillip F. Elliott

Professor of Biology

Director, University Honors Program

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    Tropical Biology Program


Office:     Science 361

Phone:    (860) 465-4496


Fields of Interest  Evolutionary Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Vertebrate Biology, Tropical Biology, Biostatistics

Courses Taught:

                                     BIO 234 - Population Biology

                                     BIO 320 - Tropical Biology

                                     BIO  338 - Vertebrate Biology

                                     BIO 378 - Introduction to Data Analysis           

                                     BIO 346 - Animal Behavior         

                                     BIO 444 - Population and Community Ecology



Research/Professional Interests

My research interests have generally focused on vertebrate evolutionary ecology, specifically with questions involving birds or mammals.  Although I spent several years studying the pine squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) in British Columbia and Colorado, for the past several years I have concentrated on various questions related to the behavioral and population ecology of North American migrant songbirds.

A long-term study of parental investment of five species of neotropical migrant warblers involved the use of infrared/motion-activated video and fixed-lens cameras to monitor male and female parental care.  This study has also resulted in the collection of data on productivity, community species composition, predation rates and rates of parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds.

While conducting the above study, I have obtained the first unequivocal documentation of a female brown-headed cowbird killing host nestlings in an unparasitized nest (viewable to the right).  Prompted by that documentation and the accumulation of the above life history data, I have developed a computer simulation of the population and evolutionary dynamics of a host community and a cowbird population containing “infanticidal” cowbirds.







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Last Updated: November 8, 2012