Rulon W. Clark

Associate Professor
Department of Biology
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego State University 
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
p. 619-594-1527
f. 619-594-5676

Curriculum vitae [Clark CV.pdf]

I have broad interests in both behavior and ecology, and often work at the interface between these two disciplines. For example, some my current projects focus on how behavioral attributes of organisms shape fine-scale population structure in the context of anthropogenic habitat change. Other projects focus more the evolution of predator-prey interactions between snakes and small mammals. My general research approach is to think about questions of fundamental and applied importance in a broad sense, and then refine these based on field experiences and my own observations of the way natural systems work. This means I usually end up working with reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals, since I am familiar with the natural history of these animals and feel comfortable making educated guesses about them. I try to work in the field as much as possible. I think studies on animals outside their natural environment tend to reinforce our preconceived notions, rather than showing us the way they actually work. However, some experiments need to be done in a controlled environment that would be impossible to replicate in the field, so I tend to use cautiously-interpreted laboratory experiments bolstered by lots of field observations, to keep things in context.

Interested in pit viper biology?  Don’t miss the Biology of Pitvipers 3, hosted at the Chiricahua Desert Museum, summer 2019!

Last Updated:  March 2019