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Scholarly Interest Report
         
Amy E. Dunham
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
 
e-mail:aed4@rice.edu
 
  • B.A. Zoology (1995) Connecticut College, New London, CT
  • Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution (2003) Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
 
Primary Department
   Department of BioSciences
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Department Affiliations
 
  • Department of BioSciences
  •  
    Websites
     Tropical Ecology and Conservation - Amy Dunham Lab
     
    Research Areas
     Population and community ecology, conservation biology, evolutionary and behavioral ecology, climate change ecology
     

    Research Statement

     

    BambooLemur_web.jpgMy research program is broadly concerned with tropical community ecology with a focus on identifying mechanisms important for structuring forest communities and dynamics and how such mechanisms can be used to guide conservation management actions. I am particularly interested in the impacts of anthropogenic pressures including defaunation, invasion and habitat fragmentation on species interactions, communities and ecosystem processes. The goal of my work is to provide novel insights for our understanding of how complex communities and ecosystems work and how they might respond to anthropogenic pressures. My work also touches on the evolutionary and behavioral ecology of mammals and birds and has challenged some long standing theories in the field, especially as related to primates. I employ a variety of tools to address these research areas including observation, field experiments, large database manipulations, phylogenetic analyses, and modeling which have allowed me to approach questions from different perspectives and at different scales of organization.

     
    Selected Publications
     Abstracts
     

    Razafindratsima, OH, Mehtani, S, and Dunham, AE.  2011.  Did the extinction of large species alter the phylogenetic structure of Malagasy primate assemblages?  American Journal of Primatology 73: 57

     
     Refereed articles
     

    Razafindratsima*, O. H., Dunham, A. E. Frugivores bias seed-adult tree associations through nonrandom dispersal: a phylogenetic approach. Ecology In Press

     
     

     

    Edwards, K. L., Walker S. L., Dunham, A. E., Pilgrim, B., Okita-Ouma, M., Shultz, S. 2015.   Low birth rates and reproductive skew limit the viability of Europe’s captive eastern black rhinoceros. Biodiversity and Conservation 24 (11) 2831-2852.

     

     
     

    Razafindratsima*, O. H., Dunham, A. E. (in revision) Functional diversity and phylogenetic structure of co-fruiting plant assemblages. Journal of Ecology

     
     

    Razafindratsima*, O.H, Dunham, A.E. 2015 Increasing womens participation in community-based conservation: key to success? Madagascar Conservation and Development. 10(2) 45-47. 

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O. H, Dunham, A. E. 2015. Assessing the impacts of nonrandom seed dispersal by multiple frugivore partners on plant recruitment. Ecology 96 (1):24–30.

     
     

    Wandrag, E. M., Dunham, A. E., Miller, R. H., and Rogers, H. S. 2015. Vertebrate seed dispersers maintain the composition of tropical forest seedbanks. AoB Plants. plv130

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O. H, Jones, T. A., Dunham, A. E. 2014. Patterns of movement and seed dispersal of three lemur species. American Journal of Primatology. 76 (1):84-96. 

     
     

    Dunham, A.E., Maitner, B.S., Razafindratsima, O.H., Simmons, M. C., Roy, C. L. 2013. Body size and sexual size dimorphism in primates; influence of climate and net primary productivity. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 26(11): 2312–2320.   

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O. H., Mehtani, S., Dunham, A.E.  2013. Extinctions, traits, and phylogenetic structure of communities: insights from primate assemblages in Madagascar. Ecography 36: 47-45.

     
     

    Maitner B.S., Rudgers, J., Dunham, A.E., Whitney, K.  2012. Patterns of bird invasion are consistent with environmental filtering. Ecography 34:1-10.

     
     

    Dunham A. E, Erhart, E. M., Wright, P. C. 2011. Global climate cycles and cyclones; consequences for rainfall patterns and lemur reproduction in southeastern Madagascar. Global Change Biology 17 (1):219-227. 

     
     

    Duham, A.E. 2011. Soil disturbance by vertebrates alters seed predation, movement and germination in an African rain forest. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 27:581-589.

     
     

    Dunham, A.E., Mikheyev, A.S. 2010. Influence of an invasive ant on grazing and detrital communities and nutrient fluxes in a tropical forest. Diversity and Distributions. 16 (1): 33-42.

     
     

    Dunham, A. E., Rudolf, V. H. W. 2009. Evolution of sexual size-monomorphism; the influence of passive mate-guarding.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 22(7), 1376-1386. 

     
     

    Dunham, A. E. 2008. Battle of the sexes: Cost asymmetry explains female dominance in lemurs. Animal Behaviour. 76 (4): 1435-1439    

     
     

    Dunham, A. E., Erhart, E., Overdorff, D. Wright, P. C. 2008. Evaluating effects of habitat loss, hunting, and El Nino on a threatened lemur. Biological Conservation. 141:287-297

     
     

    Dunham, A. E. 2008. Above and below ground impacts of terrestrial mammals and birds in a tropical forest. Oikos. 117 (4), 571-579

     
     

    Bagdassarian, C., Dunham, A., Raucher, D. and Brown, C. 2007. Biodiversity maintenance in food webs with regulatory environmental feedbacks. Journal of Theoretical Biology, (4):705-14

     
     

    Dunham, A. E., &  Akçakaya, R. H. 2006. Using scalar models for precautionary assessments of threatened species. Conservation Biology. 20 (5), 1499-1506    

     
     

     

    Gaubert, P., Aniskin, V.M., Dunham, A.E., Crémière, C., Volubouev, V.T. 2004. Karyotype of the rare Johnston's Genet Genetta johnstoni (Viverridae) & a reassessment of chromosomal characterization among congeneric species. Acta Theriologica. 49 (4): 457-467.

     

     
     

    Veron, G., M. Colyn, A. E. Dunham, P. Taylor, P. Gaubert 2004.  Molecular phylogeny & the origin of sociality in the mongooses (Carnivora, Herpestidae). Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution.30:582-598.

     
     

     

    Gaubert, P., Tranier, M., Veron, G., Kock, D., Dunham,A.E.,Taylor, P.J., Stuart, C., Stuart, T. & Wozencraft, W.C. 2003a. Case 3204. Viverra maculata Gray, 1830 (currently Genetta maculata; Mammalia, Carnivora): proposed conservation of the specific name. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 60: 45-47.

     

     
     

    Gaubert, P., Tranier, M., Veron, G., Kock, D., Dunham,A.E.,Taylor, P.J., Stuart, C., Stuart, T. & Wozencraft, W.C. 2003b. Nomenclatural comments on the Rusty-spotted Genet (Carnivora, Viverridae) & designation of a neotype. Zootaxa 160: 1-14.

     
     

    Dunham, A.E. & Wright, P.C. 2002. From Primates to Pre-Columbian Archeology; The Association of Tropical Biology Annual Meeting, Panama, 2002: Evolutionary Anthropology.17: 1-2.

     
     

    Gaubert, P., Veron, G., Colyn, M., Dunham, A., Shultz, S. & Tranier, M. 2002. A reassessment of the distributional range of the rare Genetta johnstoni (Viverridae, Carnivora), with some newly discovered specimens. Mammal Review 32 (2) : 132-144

     
     

    Ferson, S., R. H. Akcakaya, A. Dunham. 1999. Using fuzzy intervals to represent measurement error & scientific uncertainty in endangered species classification. IEEE.Proceedings of NAFIPS. 11 :112-114.

     
     

    Wright, P., S. K. Heckscher, A. Dunham. 1997. Predation of Propithecus diadema edwardsi by Cryptoprocta ferox in the southeastern rainforest of Madagascar. Folia Primatologica. 68: 34-43.

     
     Books
     

    Shultz, S., A. E. Dunham, K. Root, S. Soucy, S. Carroll, & L. Ginzburg. 1999/02/06/08. Conservation Biology with RAMAS Ecolab. Sinaur Associates, Mass. 251pp.   (Undergraduate text/lab book teaches students quantitative conservation biology and wildlife management)  Latest release in digital form available from Web School of Science.  Click here for reviews. 

     
     Book chapters
     

    Dunham, A.E., and Gaubert, P. 2013. Johnston's Genet, Genetta johnstoni. In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 5. Carnivores, Pangolins, Rhinos and Equids. Kingdon, J.S., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J. (eds). A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.

     
     

    Gaubert, P., and Dunham, A.E. 2013. Hausa Genet, Genetta thierryi. In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 5. Carnivores, Pangolins, Rhinos and Equids. Kingdon, J.S., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J. (eds). A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.

     
     

    Gaubert, P., and Dunham, A.E. 2013. Pardine Genet, Genetta pardina. In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 5. Carnivores, Pangolins, Rhinos and Equids. Kingdon, J.S., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J. (eds). A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.

     
     

    Goldman, C. A., and Dunham, A.E. 2013. Common Cusimanse, Crossarchus obscurus. In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 5. Carnivores, Pangolins, Rhinos and Equids. Kingdon, J.S., Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J. (eds). A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.

     
     

    Taylor, P. & Dunham, A.E.  2013. Liberian Mongoose, Liberiictis Kuhni. In: The Mammals of Africa. Vol. 5. Carnivores, Pangolins, Rhinos and Equids. Kingdon, J.S.,  Happold, D., Butynski, T., Hoffmann, M., Happold, M., Kalina, J. (eds). A & C Black Publishers Ltd., London.

     
     

    Dunham, A.E. 2004. The herpestidae; mongooses & fossa. in B. Grzimek, N. Schlager, D. Olendorf, M. C. McDade (Eds) Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition. Vol 14. Thomson Gale. New York.

     
     Other
     

    Dunham, A. & Gaubert, P. 2008. Genetta johnstoni. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

     
     

    Gaubert, P. & Dunham, A. 2008. Genetta bourloni. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

     
     

    Dunham, A. & Gaubert, P. 2008. Liberiictis kuhni. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

     
     

    Gaubert, P. & Dunham, A. 2008. Genetta thierryi. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

     
     

    Gaubert, P., Dunham, A. & Hoffmann, M. 2008. Genetta maculata. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>.

     
     

    Dunham, A.E.; K. V. Root; H. R. Akçakaya. 1999. Correspondence between IUCN and USFWS classifications of threatened species. Prepared for Southern California Edison and Electric Power Research Institute and used as testimony for US senate hearing on improving ESA endangerment

     
    Presentations
     Invited Talks
     

    Seminar series for Applied Biodiversity Science (ABS) NSF-IGERT Program at Texas A&M University (2014)

     
     

    Stony Brook University, Dept. of Physical Anthropology, Seminar

     
     

    Baylor University, Biology Seminar Series (2013)

     
     

     

    Royal Society Fellows International Scientific Seminar, Liverpool

     

     
     

    University of Texas, Austin, Jean Andrew’s Seminar in Botany (2013)

     
     

    Dunham, A.E.  Evolutionary history of mating strategies, male reproductive anatomy, and copulatory plugs in primates. Royal Society Fellows International Scientific Seminar, Using Bayesian comparative techniques to model social and behavioural evolution (2012)

     
     

    "Changing trophic diversity in tropical forests: Implications for community structure & ecosystem function" University of Houston, Biology Seminar Series. (Feb 2009)

     
     

    "Evolution of sexual size dimorphism in primates; the influence of passive mate guarding." Trinity University, Biology Seminar Series, (Sep 2009)

     
     

    "Changing trophic diversity in tropical forests: Implications for community structure & ecosystem function." Sam Houston State University, (April 24, 2008)

     
     Lectures
     

    Stony Brook University, Dept. of Physical Anthropology, (2014)

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H. and Dunham, A. E. 2013. Role of seed dispersers in structuring plant communities through directed dispersal. Ecological Association of America

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H. and Dunham, A. E.  Differential contribution of frugivores to seedling recruitment and the influence of microsite preference. Association of Tropical Biology Annual Meeting 2012

     
     

    Roy, C.L., Maitner, B.S., Dunham, A.E. Are mountain passes higher in the tropics? A community phylogenetic approach.  Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting 2012

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H., Jones, T.A. and Dunham, A.E. Lemur movement pattern and its implications for seed dispersal. American Association of Physical Anthropologists 82nd annual meeting 2012.

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H. and Dunham, A. E. Influence of frugivorous lemurs on the germination and survival of their host-plants. Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists. Annual meeting 2011.

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H., Mehtani, S., Dunham, A.E.  2011 Did extinctions result in altered phylogenetic structure of Madagascar’s primate communities?  American Society of Primatologists Annual Meeting 2011

     
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H., Meza-Lopez, M.M., Mehtani, S., Dunham, A.E.  2010. Trait, habitat and phylogenetic structure: insights from primate assemblages in Madagascar. Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists. Annual meeting 2010. Baylor University

     
     

    "Impacts of climatic variability and hurricanes on lemur demography in Madagascar." Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation Annual Meeting 2009, (August 2009)

     
     

    "Invasive ants cause collapse of understory food web in a tropical forest." Society for Conservation Biology Annual Meeting, (July 2008) With Mikheyev, A. S.

     
     

    "The enigma of monomorphism in strepsirrhine primates: A new hypothesis." American Society of Primatologists Annual Meeting, (June 2008) With Rudolf, V.

     
     Posters
     

    Razafindratsima, O.H. and Dunham, A. E. 2013. Role of seed dispersers in structuring plant communities through directed dispersal. Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation

     
     

    Dunham, A.E., Razafindratsima, O.H. and Simmons C. The Lemur Syndrome Revisited: A Test of the Energy Conservation Hypothesis. Texas Association of Biological Anthropologists. Annual meeting 2011.

     
     

    Razafindratsima, OH, S Mehtani and AE Dunham, Extinction of large Malagasy primate species altered their community assemblage trait structure. ESA 96th Annual Meeting, August 7 - 12, 2011, Austin, TX

     
     

    Edwards, K, Walker, S. L., Dunham, A. E., Pilgrim, M., Shultz, S. 2009. Population Viability Analysis of the Eastern Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis michaeli). 7th International Conference on Behaviour, Physiology and Genetics of Wildlife

     
     

    "Impact of an invasive generalist predator on detrital and grazing subsystems of a tropical forest." Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, (August 2009)

     
     

    "Battle of the sexes: assymetric costs predict female dominance in lemurs." American Society of Primatologists Annual Meeting, (June 2008)

     
     Workshops
     

    Organization for Tropical Studies, Working Group on Biodiversity Consequences of Trophic Downgrading (2013)

     
    Editorial Positions
     Member of the Editorial Board, Biotropica . John Wiley and Sons. (2015 - 2015)

    Supervised Theses & Dissertations
     Nick Rasmussen, PhD Consequences of priority effects and size-structure for community assembly. (2014) (Thesis Committee Member)

     Christopher Roy, PhD MS. (Thesis Director)

     Andrea Drager, PhD Staying connected: how pollination relates to tree density in the Afrotropics. (Thesis Director)

     Brian Maitner, PhD Dissertation. (Thesis Director)

     Phillip Torres, PhD TBD. (Thesis Director)

     Maria Meza Lopez, PhD Dissertation. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Patrick Clay, PhD Dissertation. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Shannon Carter, PhD Dissertation. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Onja Razafindratsima, Nonrandom seed dispersal by lemur frugivores: mechanism, patterns and impacts. (Thesis Director)

     Katherine Horn, Examining Competitive Interactions Between Rasberry Crazy Ants (Paratrechina sp. nr. pubens) and Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) Using Laboratory and Field Studies. (Thesis Committee Member)

     Jennie Kuzdzal, Ph.D. Cheating and Recognition Genes in Dictyostelium discoideum. (Thesis Committee Member)

    Positions Held
     Expert Member and Lead Author for IPBES Deliverable 2B,,, Intergovernmental Science Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) . (2015 - 2015)