Dr. Daniel Papaj

Positions and Education: 
  • Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2005-present
  • Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1997-2005
  • Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1990-1997
  • Center for Insect Science Fellow, University of Arizona, 1989-1990
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Entomology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1987-1989
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, 1987
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Entomology, Unviersity of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984-1987
  • Ph.D., Zoology, Duke University, 1984
  • B.S., Biology, Cornell University, 1978
Research Interests: 

Dan Papaj’s laboratory studies the reproductive dynamics of insects in the context of coevolved interactions. We are particularly interested in how the flexibility of an animal's behavior or physiology permits it to maintain high performance in variable environments. Plant-herbivore interactions are our primary focus, but plant-pollinator, host-parasite, predator-prey, intra-sexual and inter-sexual interactions are considered as well. Within this broad context, research topics addressed in our laboratory are diverse: learning and host use, costs of phenotypic plasticity (such as costs of learning), ovarian dynamics, signal detection theory and visual ecology.

Selected Publications: 


  1. I. Kulahci, A. Dornhaus and D.R. Papaj. 2008. Multimodal signals enhance decision making in foraging bumblebees. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B, in press.
  2. D.R. Papaj and E.C. Snell-Rood. 2007. Commentary: Memory flies sooner from flies that learn faster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:13539-13540.
  3. D.R. Papaj, H.S. Mallory, and C.A. Heinz. 2007. Extreme weather change and host selection in the pipevine swallowtail, Battus philenor. Oecologia 152:365-375.
  4. K.L. Prudic, A.K. Skemp, and D.R. Papaj. 2007. Aposematic coloration, luminance contrast, and the benefits of conspicuousness. Behavioral Ecology 18:41-46.
  5. J. Cnaani, J.D. Thomson and D.R. Papaj. 2006. The effect of reward properties on learning and choice in foraging bumblebees. Ethology 112:278–285.
  6. B.D. Worden and D.R. Papaj. 2005. Flower choice copying in bumblebees. Biology Letters 1(4):504-507.
  7. D.R. Papaj and G.M. Newsom. 2005. A within-species warning function for an aposematic signal. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 272:2519–2523.
  8. D.R. Papaj. 2005. Ovarian dynamics in relation to host quality in the walnut-infesting fly,Rhagoletis juglandis. Functional Ecology 19:396-404.
  9. S.K. Lynn, J. Cnaani, and D.R. Papaj. 2005. Peak shift discrimination learning as a mechanism of signal evolution. Evolution 59:1300–1305.
  10. B.D. Worden, A.K. Skemp and D.R. Papaj. 2005. Learning in two contexts: the effects of interference and body size in bumblebees. Journal of Experimental Biology 208:2045-2053.
  11. L.D. Carsten and D.R. Papaj. 2005. Effects of reproductive state and host resource experience on mating decisions in a walnut-infesting fly (Rhagoletis juglandis). Behavioral Ecology 16:528–533.
  12. E.A. Hebets and D.R. Papaj. 2005. Complex signal function: Developing a framework for testable hypotheses. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 57:197-214.
  13. C.R. Nufio and D.R. Papaj. 2004. Superparasitism of larval hosts by the walnut fly, Rhagoletis juglandis, and its implications for female and offspring performance. Oecologia 141: 460-467.
  14. M.R. Weiss and D.R. Papaj. 2003. Butterfly color learning in two different behavioral contexts: How much can a butterfly keep in mind? Animal Behaviour 65: 425-434.
  15. D.R. Papaj. 2003. Learning. In Encyclopedia of Insect Learning, V. Resh and R. Carde, eds. Academic Press. New York.
  16. D.R. Papaj. 2000. Ovarian dynamics and host use. Annual Review of Entomology 45:423-448.
  17. H. Alonso-Pimentel, J.B. Korer, C. Nufio and D.R. Papaj. 1998. Role of color and shape stimuli in host-enhanced oogenesis in the walnut fly, Rhagoletis juglandis. Physiological Entomology 23:97-104.
  18. L.E.M. Vet, A.G. De Jong, E. Franchi, and D.R. Papaj. 1998. The effect of complete versus incomplete information on odour discrimination in a parasitic wasp. Animal Behaviour 55:1271-1279.
  19. H. Alonso-Pimentel and D.R. Papaj. 1996. Operational sex ratio vs. gender densities as determinants of copulation duration in the walnut fly, Rhagoletis juglandis (Diptera: Tephritidae). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 39:171-180.
  20. Papaj, D.R., and A.C. Lewis (eds). 1993. Insect Learning: Ecological and Evolutionary Perspectives.Chapman and Hall, Inc. New York.
  21. Papaj, D.R. 1994. Optimizing learning and its effects on evolutionary change. pp. 133-153 inBehavioral Mechanisms in Evolutionary Ecology. L. Real, ed.

Contact Information

Lab Phone: 
(520) 626-9012
Office Phone: 
(520) 621-8988
Office Location: 
Lab Location: