Rulon W. Clark

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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 find myself working 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. Others projects focus more on basic behavioral ecology, or 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 and amphibians, 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 organisms outside their natural habitat have a tendency to reinforce our preconceived notions about the way the world should work, rather than showing us the way it really works. However, some studies can be done fairly easily in the lab that are extremely difficult to do in the field, so I tend to use cautiously-interpreted laboratory experiments bolstered by lots of field observations, to keep things in context.