Rulon W. Clark

Professor
Department of Biology
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego State University 
San Diego, CA 92182-4614
p. 619-594-1527
f. 619-594-5676
e. rclark@sdsu.edu

Curriculum vitae [Clark CV.pdf]



I have broad interests in ecology, behavior, and evolution, and often work at the interface between these 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. Others focus on how predator-prey interactions between snakes and small mammals may affect population and community dynamics. Typically my work is integrative, examining animal ecology at several different levels of biological complexity. 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 function. However, some experiments need to be done in controlled environments can’t be replicated in natural environments, so I tend to use cautiously-interpreted laboratory experiments bolstered by lots of field observations, to keep things in context.

Last Updated:  December 2020