© privat

2019/2020

David W. Kikuchi, Ph.D.

Biology

University of Arizona, Tucson

Born in 1984 in Chicago, IL, USA
Studied Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Focus

Integrating Mimicry into Community Ecology

Project

The Ecological Consequences of Communication Between Species

Our spotty knowledge of the ecological impacts of communication is often remarked, but seldom investigated. Perhaps the best understood cases are the formation, maintenance, and coordination of mixed-species groups and the recruitment of parasitoids by plants that have been attacked by herbivorous insects. Yet even for these instances, we have little information on how the transmission of information changes the sizes of the populations of species that participate or the composition of their communities. Answering these questions is critical to understanding how the information that flows between species affects the architecture of their communities.
This project will produce a synthesis of current knowledge to establish the state of the art, identify major directions for research, and articulate a vision for the ecology of communication. Focusing on signals that are sent between species, it includes the following: warning signals, Batesian (dishonest) and Müllerian (honest) mimicry, alarm calls, mixed-species flocks, herbivore-induced plant volatiles that recruit parasitoids, flowers that signal to pollinators, territorial signals that function between species, and displays of aggression. I will leverage both ecological interactions and network theory to create a holistic view of the way that species interactions are regulated by signals, and the consequences that their exchanges of information have for the structure of biodiversity.

Recommended Reading

Kikuchi, D. W., A. Dornhaus, V. Gopeechund, and T. N. Sherratt (2019). "Signal categorization by foraging animals depends on ecological diversity." eLife 8:e43965. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43965.
Kikuchi, D. W. and T. N. Sherratt (2015). "Costs of learning and the evolution of mimetic signals." American Naturalist 186: 321-332.
Kikuchi, D. W. and D. W. Pfennig (2013). "Imperfect mimicry and the limits of natural selection." Quarterly Review of Biology 88: 297-315.

Publications from the Fellows' Library

Kikuchi, David W. ( Chicago, Ill. :, 2015)
Cost of learning and the evolution of mimetic signals

Kikuchi, David W. ( Chicago, Ill., 2013)
Imperfect mimicry and the limits of natural selection