Steve Yanoviak, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
I am a tropical field biologist, and most of my field work is based in Central and South America. My research focuses on the behavior and ecology of tropical arthropods, especially insects of the rainforest canopy. The behavioral aspects of my program examine the mechanisms used by wingless animals to cope with life in the treetops, whereas the ecological aspects address how species interactions and anthropogenic disturbance (deforestation, climate change) influence biodiversity. Current major projects include: 1) ecological interactions between vines and ants in the tropical forest canopy; 2) aerial gliding behavior in wingless arthropods; and 3) trophic ecology and species interactions in tropical leaf litter food webs. In addition to identifying and curating collections of tropical insects, students in my lab are conducting field-based studies of Arkansas ants, including the effects of fire on Ozark forest ant communities, the canopy ant fauna of woods around Little Rock, and the role of substrate characteristics in ant foraging behavior. For more information, see my website: www.canopyants.com.