Dr. Renee Duckworth

Associate Professor
Positions and Education: 
  • Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2016-present
  • Assistant Professor, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2010-2016
  • G. G. Simpson Fellow, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2008-2009
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, 2007-2008
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Edinburgh University, 2006-2007
  • Ph.D., Biology, Duke University, 2006
Honors and Awards: 
  • Young Investigator Prize, American Society of Naturalists, 2009
  • Ned K. Johnson Young Investigator Award, American Ornithologists Union, 2009
  • Early Career Scientist Award, Evolutionary Ecology, University of Michigan, 2007
  • NSF International Research Fellow, 2006-2008
  • American Museum of Natural History Frank M. Chapman Award, 2004
Editorial Work: 
  • Associate Editor: Evolutionary Ecology (2009-cur.)
  • Associate Editor: Condor: Int. J. Avian Biology (2008-2012)
Research Interests: 

The ultimate goal of my work is to understand the link between micro and macroevolutionary processes with specific focus on ecological feedbacks and evolutionary diversification. To achieve these goals, I integrate approaches from evolutionary and physiological ecology to quantitative genetics and phylogenetic comparative methods. My current work uses large-scale field experiments, empirical measures of lifetime fitness and molecular multi-generational pedigree reconstruction to investigate the dynamics of trait evolution in the context of range expansion and species coexistence in passerine birds. Range expansion provides a unique opportunity study ongoing ecological and evolutionary processes and thus to characterize feedbacks between evolutionary and ecological dynamics. Current projects in the lab include 1) the evolution of distinct dispersal morphs 2) the mechanisms of species coexistence at range margins 3) the role of adaptive maternal effects in range expansion 4) niche shifts and species diversification and 5) sexually antagonistic selection and constraints to adaptive evolution.

Selected Publications: 
  1. Duckworth RA. and Sockman, KW. 2012. Proximate mechanisms of behavioural inflexibility: Implications for the evolution of personality traits. Functional Ecology 26: 559-566.
  2. Duckworth RA. 2012. Evolution of genetically integrated dispersal strategies.Pp: 83-94 in: Clobert J, et. al (eds) Dispersal Evolution and Ecology. Oxford Univ. Press
  3. Duckworth, RA. 2010. Evolution of personality: developmental constraints on behavioral plasticity. Invited Perspective. Auk: Intl J. Ornithol. 127: 752-758.
  4. Duckworth, RA. 2009. Maternal effects and range expansion: A key factor in a dynamic process? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364: 1075-1086.
  5. Duckworth, RA & LEB Kruuk. 2009. Evolution of genetic integration between dispersal and colonization ability in a bird. Evolution: 63-4: 968-977.
  6. Duckworth, RA. 2009. The role of behavior in evolution: a search for mechanism. Evolutionary Ecology: 23: 513-531.
  7. Duckworth, RA. 2008. Adaptive dispersal strategies and the dynamics of a range expansion. American Naturalist 172: 4-17.
  8. Duckworth, RA, & AV Badyaev. 2007. Coupling of dispersal and aggression facilitates the rapid range expansion of a passerine bird. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 104: 15017-15022.
  9. Duckworth, RA. 2006. Aggressive behavior affects selection on morphology by determining the environment of breeding in a passerine bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B273: 1789-1795.
  10. Duckworth, RA. 2006. Behavioral correlations across breeding contexts provide a mechanism for a cost of aggression. Behavioral Ecology17: 1011-1019.

Contact Information

Lab Phone: 
(520) 626-8411
Office Phone: 
(520) 626-0734
Office Location: 
Lab Location: