Rafael L. Rodríguez
Rafael L. Rodríguez
Associate Professor
Behavioral Ecology

BS, Univ. of Costa Rica, 1991
MS, Univ. of Costa Rica, 1996
PhD, Univ. of Kansas, 2002

Post-doctoral Fellow
Univ. of Missouri-Columbia, 2002-2006

Office: Lapham S295
Phone: 414-229-3445
FAX: 414-229-3926
Email: rafa@uwm.edu
Personal Homepage:

Research Interests


I am interested in the behavioral ecology of arthropods, especially behavior used in social interactions and sexual competition. Traits that function in these contexts provide some of the best examples of rapid diversification and elaboration. Besides the sheer fascination of this topic full of byzantine form and behavior, studying these traits brings insights into the processes of selection, adaptation and divergence.

Selected Publications

Rodríguez RL, Araya–Salas M, Gray DA,Reichert MS, Symes LB, Wilkins MR, Safran RJ & Höbel G. (In press) How acoustic signals scale with individual body size: common trends across diverse taxa. Behavioral Ecology

Rodríguez RL, Briceño RD, Briceño–Aguilar E & Höbel G. (In press) Nephila clavipes spiders (Araneae: Nephilidae) keep track of captured prey counts: testing for a sense of numerosity in an orb–weaver. Animal Cognition

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2014. Genetic variation in host plants influences the mate preferences of a plant-feeding insect. American Naturalist 184, 489-499

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2014. Trees to treehoppers: genetic variation in host plants contributes to variation in the mating signals of a plant-feeding insect. Ecology Letters 17,203–210

Rebar D & Rodríguez RL. 2013. Genetic variation in social influence on mate preferences. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 280, 20130803

Rodríguez RL, Boughman JW, Gray DA, Hebets EA, Höbel G & Symes LB. 2013. Diversification under sexual selection: the relative roles of mate preference strength and the degree of divergence in mate preferences. Ecology Letters 16, 964–974

Rodríguez RL, Hallet, AC, Kilmer JT & Fowler–Finn KD. 2013. Curves as traits: genetic and environmental variation in mate preference functions. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 26, 434–442

Fowler–Finn KD & Rodríguez RL. 2012. Experience–mediated plasticity in mate preferences: mating assurance in a variable environment. Evolution 66, 459–468

Rodríguez RL. 2012. Grain of environment explains variation in strength of genotype ´ environment interaction. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25, 1897–1901

Rodríguez RL, Haen C, Cocroft RB & Fowler–Finn KD. 2012. Males adjust signaling effort based on female mate–preference cues. Behavioral Ecology 23, 1218–1225

Rodríguez RL. 2009. Trait duplication by means of sensory bias. Behavioral Ecology20, 1376–1381

Rodríguez RL, Sullivan LM, Snyder RL & Cocroft RB. 2008. Host shifts and the beginning of signal divergence. Evolution 62, 12–20

Rodríguez RL, Ramaswamy K & Cocroft RB. 2006.Evidence that female preferences have shaped male signal evolution in a clade of specialized plant–feeding insects. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 273, 2585–2593