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Carlos Botero

Global Change Fellow Alumnus | Biocomplexity Initiative and Global Change Center | North Carolina State University

2013 – 2014 Global Change Fellow

Where are they now?

Carlos is an Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Statement of Purpose:

I am an integrative evolutionary ecologist broadly interested in how basic ecological processes can influence micro- and macro-evolution. I use tools from behavioral ecology, phylogenetic comparative methods, and theoretical biology to study the effects of quasi-periodic oscillations in ecological conditions (particularly climate-related variables) on the dynamics and outcome of evolution. Through this line of inquiry, I am exploring questions related to the evolution of cognition, phenotypic plasticity, and biological complexity, and I am generating a theoretical framework that can help us identify and address some of the long-term consequences of climate change.

Description of research:

The frequency of extreme weather events and the general variability and predictability of local climate patterns are changing globally as a consequence of climate change. My research addresses the SECSC’s mission by developing a better understanding of how these environmental features have shaped the evolution of phenology, morphology, physiology, and behavior, and of how their current changes may impact animal populations worldwide. For example, I am addressing Science Theme 4, tasks 1 and 3, by developing theoretical models and using comparative methods to explore the relationship between environmental predictability and the evolution of important reproductive behaviors such as clutch/litter size and reproductive investment. My research program is also exploring the connections between environmental uncertainty and other critical features of animal life such as sociality, diet, and host-parasite interactions.

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