Joe with a song-sparrow (Melospiza melodia) egg, Tyson Research Center, Missouri

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Joseph A. LaManna  |  Tyson Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Joe LaManna is a postdoctoral research fellow at Washington University and the Tyson Research Center in St. Louis. He has a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in wildlife biology from Humboldt State University, and a Ph.D. in wildlife biology from the University of Montana. His dissertation focused on vegetation-mediated effects of predation risk on avian community structure and demography. He joined Washington University’s Tyson Research Center as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015.

Joe’s research explores the roles of species interactions in shaping community structure, demography, and the evolution of life-history traits. He is interested in interactions across trophic levels as well as the ecological and evolutionary roles of both generalist enemies like nest predators and specialized enemies like soil microbes and other pathogens. Joe is also interested in how local biotic interactions scale up to influence regional or biogeographic processes. He explores these questions by examining applied problems and basic gaps in theory using both observational studies along environmental gradients and experimental tests. He has worked with a variety of local and regional avian and plant communities in Montana, California, and Missouri. He has also collaborated on continental- and global-scale studies using data from the MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survival) and Smithsonian Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) networks.

Joe’s current research interests include patterns of biodiversity and mechanisms of community assembly across trophic levels (plants, pollinators & birds), the role of specialist and generalist enemies in determining community assembly of woody plant species, effects of environmental gradients and predation risk on trait evolution and demography (“costs of fear”), and the influence of global climate cycles and novel pathogens on annual survival of migratory and resident bird populations.