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Thomas W. Schoener

Distinguished Professor of Biology

Evolution and Ecology

6328 Storer Hall


1969 PhD Harvard University Biology
1965 BA Harvard University - Biology

Research Interests:

Experimental studies of lizard and spider colonization and competition on islands. Experimental food-web manipulation as it affects herbivores, intermediate predators, and producers. Mathematical models of population interactions, territory size, food-web effects, and parasitoid occurrence; feeding strategies; island ecology; lizard population biology; predation; and resource partitioning. Development of methods for estimating home-range area and independence of successive observations. Analysis of size differences among certain hawks and lizards, with reference to the "null-model" controversy in community ecology.

Department and Center Affiliations:

Center for Population Biology

CBS Graduate Group Affiliations:

Population Biology  


Last updated 9/9/2011
2011 Estes, J. A. …Schoener, T. W…. Trophic downgrading of Planet Earth. Science 333: 3001-3006.

2011 Piovia-Scott, J., D. A. Spiller and T. W. Schoener. Effects of experimental seaweed deposition on lizard and ant predation in an island food web. Science 331: 461-463.

2011 Schoener, T.W. The newest synthesis: Understanding the interplay of evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Science 330: 426-429.

2010 Schoener, T.W. and D. A. Spiller. Trophic cascades. Islands. pp. 179-202 in J. Terborgh and J. Estes (Eds.). Trophic Cascades. Island Press. 2010 Spiller, D. A., J. Piovia-Scott, A. N. Wright, L. H. Yang, G. Takimoto, T. W. Schoener and T. Iwata. 2010. Marine subsidies have multiple effects on coastal food webs. Ecology.91:1424-1434.

2009 Schoener, T.W. The MacArthur-Wilson Equilibrium Model: What it said and how it was tested. pp 52-87 in J. B. Losos and R. E. Ricklefs (Eds.). The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ.

2009 Schoener, T.W. The niche. pp 3-13 in S. Levin (Ed.) Princeton Guide to Ecology. Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ

2008 Manicom, C., L. Schwarzkopf, R.A. Alford and T. W. Schoener. Self-made shelters protect spiders from predation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105:14903-14907; published ahead of print , doi:10.1073/pnas.0807107105 Commentary O. J. Schmitz. Predators avoiding predation. PNAS 105:14749-14750; From the Cover: Self-made shelters protect spiders from predation.

2008 Legendre, S., T.W. Schoener, J. Clobert and D. A. Spiller. How is extinction rate related to population-size variability over time? A family of models for species with repeated extinction and immigration. American Naturalist 172: 282-298.

2008 Strauss, S.Y., J.A. Lau, T.W. Schoener and P. Tiffin. Evolution in ecological field experiments: implications for effect size. Ecology Letters 11: 199-207.

2008 Spiller, D.A. and T. W. Schoener. Climatic control of trophic interaction strength: the effect of lizards on spiders. Oecologia 154: 763-771.

2007 Spiller, D.A. and T.W. Schoener. Alteration of island food-web dynamics following major disturbance by hurricanes. Ecology 88:37-41.

2006 Schoener, T.W. and D.A. Spiller. Nonsynchronous recovery of community characteristics in island spiders after a catastrophic hurricane. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103:2220-2226.

2006 Losos, J.B., T.W. Schoener, R.B. Langerhans and D.A. Spiller. Rapid temporal reversal in predator-driven natural selection. Science 314.

2005 Schoener, T.W., J.B. Losos and D.A. Spiller. Island biogeography of populations: An introduced species transforms survival patterns. Science 310:1807-1809.

2004 Losos, J.B., T.W. Schoener and D.A. Spiller. Predator-induced behavior shifts and natural selection in field-experimental lizard populations. Nature 432:505-508.

2003 Schoener, T.W., J. Clobert, S. Legendre and D. Spiller. Life-history models of extinction: A test with island spiders. American Naturalist 162:558-573.

2002 Schoener, T.W., D.A. Spiller and J.B. Losos. Predation on a common Anolis lizard: Can the food-web effects of a devastating predator be reversed? Ecological Monographs 73:383-407.

Field Sites:

West Indies: Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico; Cayman Islands; Bermuda; Hispaniola; Australian, Pacific and Asian tropics; Western U.S.; Eastern U.S.; Europe; Balearic Islands.
Habitats studied: islands, scrub, dry forest, rainforest, desert, deciduous and mixed forest.

Teaching Interests:



EVE 101 Introduction to Ecology
PBG 200B Principles of Population Biology