PETER M. WASER
Professor; Ph.D., Rockefeller, 1974
Ph. (765) 494-8129
In almost all animal species, young individuals leave their birthplace and seek new home ranges or groups, but the details vary enormously among species. We are interested in the evolution of animal dispersal, especially in mammals, and in the consequences of animal movements for social behavior, population dynamics, population genetics, and conservation.
Our model system is the banner-tailed kangaroo rat, which we study at our Arizona field site. But where the questions are appropriate, we're not averse to using computer simulations, or molecular genetic or statistical techniques. Students and collaborators have developed genetic techniques to investigate mating systems and reproductive success, to probe effective population size and genetic bottlenecks, and to estimate rates of dispersal. We're especially interested in the developing field of Molecular Ecology, and are looking for students with background or interest in this area.