Corey E. Tarwater


I will be starting an Assistant Professor position at the University of Wyoming in the Dept. of Zoology and Physiology and Biodiversity Institute in January 2015

Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Ph.D. 2010   Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-       Champaign

M.S. 2006    Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois,            Urbana-Champaign

B.S. 1999     Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis

Mailing address: 3004 – 2424 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, work e-mail:, permanent e-mail:

Click the following for pdf of CV: Tarwater_CV

Research Interests:

My research interests are broadly focused on the interplay between ecology, evolution, and behavior of year-round resident birds and using individual-based studies to understand variation in population demography. I do this by primarily conducting pic7long-term studies of individuals and studying the entire life cycle of a species to address carry-over effects between different stages, how the environment influences individual fitness and behavior, and the subsequent effects on populations. During my graduate work in Panama, I established a population of a tropical bird (depicted in the pictures here), the western slaty antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha), and examined the mechanistic underpinnings and demographic consequences of variation in natal dispersal and reproductive strategies. I am continuing work on this population and have begun to address variation in demography and selection across the rainfall gradient along the Isthmus of Panama. As a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley, I used a 22-year study of a tropical parrot (Forpus passerinus) to address the ecological causes and demographic consequences of selection on timing of breeding and natal dispersal. Currently, I am using a 37-year study of a year-round resident bird (Melospiza melodia) to study how variation in environmental conditions and individual heterogeneity influence life history trade-offs and reproductive strategies.

Publications in print:

Tarwater, C.E., J.D. Brawn, and J.D. Maddox. 2013. Low extra-pair paternity in a tropical bird despite ample opportunities for extra-pair mating. Auk 130: 733-741.

Tarwater, C.E. and S.R. Beissinger. 2013. Opposing selection and environmental conditions modify the optimal time to breedProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110: 15365-15370.

Tarwater, C.E. 2012. The influence of phenotypic and social traits on dispersal in a  family living, tropical bird. Behavioral Ecology 23: 1242-1249.

Tarwater, C.E. and S.R. Beissinger. 2012. Dispersal polymorphisms from natal phenotype-environmental interactions have carry-over effects on lifetime reproductive success of a tropical parrot. Ecology Letters 15:1218-1229.

Tarwater, C. E., R.E. Ricklefs, J.D. Maddox, and J.D. Brawn. 2011. Pre-reproductive survival in a tropical bird and its implications for avian life histories. Ecology 92:1271-1281.

Brawn J.D., G. Angehr, N. Davros, W.D. Robinson, J. Styrsky, and C.E. Tarwater. 2011. Sources of variation in the nesting success of understory tropical birds. Journal of Avian Biology 42: 61-68.

Tarwater C.E., and J.D. Brawn. 2010. The post-fledging period in a tropical bird: patterns of parental care and survival.  Journal of Avian Biology 41:479-487.

Tarwater C.E., and J.D. Brawn. 2010. Family living in a Neotropical bird: variation in timing of dispersal and higher survival for delayed dispersers. Animal Behaviour 80:535-542.

W.D. Robinson, M. Hau, K.C. Klasing, M. Wikelski, J.D. Brawn, S.H. Austin, C.E. Tarwater, and R. E. Ricklefs. 2010. Diversification of life histories in New World birds. Auk 127:253-262.

Tarwater, C.E., and J.P. Kelley. 2010. Western Slaty-Antshrike (Thamnophilus atrinucha), Neotropical Birds Online (T.S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:                          /species/overview?p_p_spp =369186

Tarwater C.E., J.P. Kelley, and J.D. Brawn. 2009. Parental response to elevated begging in a high predation, tropical environment. Animal Behaviour 78:1239-1245.

Tarwater C.E., and J.D. Brawn. 2008. Patterns of brood division and an absence of behavioral plasticity in a neotropical passerine. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 62:1441-1452.

Tarwater C.E. 2008. Predators at nests of the Western Slaty Antshrike.  Wilson Journal of Ornithology 120:620-624.