Dustin R Rubenstein

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Establishing patterns of movement of wild animals is crucial for our understanding of their ecology, life history and behavior, and is a prerequisite for their effective conservation. Advances in the use of stable isotope markers make it possible to track a diversity of animal species in a variety of habitats. This approach is revolutionizing the way in(More)
We used the natural abundance of stable isotopes (carbon and hydrogen) in the feathers of a neotropical migrant songbird to determine where birds from particular breeding areas spend the winter and the extent to which breeding populations mix in winter quarters. We show that most birds wintering on western Caribbean islands come from the northern portion of(More)
Understanding why organisms as different as amoebas, ants, and birds cooperate remains an important question in evolutionary biology. Although ecology can influence cooperation and conflict within animal societies and has been implicated in species differences in sociality, the environmental predictors of sociality across broad geographic and taxonomic(More)
Many vertebrates breed in cooperative groups in which more than two members provide care for young. Studies of cooperative breeding behavior within species have long highlighted the importance of environmental factors in mediating the paradox of why some such individuals delay independent breeding to help raise the offspring of others. In contrast, studies(More)
Male animals are typically more elaborately ornamented than females. Classic sexual selection theory notes that because sperm are cheaper to produce than eggs, and because males generally compete more intensely for reproductive opportunities and invest less in parental care than females, males can obtain greater fitness benefits from mating multiply.(More)
In cooperatively breeding systems in which some individuals delay reproduction to help raise others' offspring, environmental variation in space and time influences individual reproductive strategies as well as interspecific patterns of sociality. Although most environmental explanations for cooperative breeding emphasize the mean fitness gains of living(More)
Sexual conflict between males and females over mating is common. Females that copulate with extrapair mates outside the pair-bond may gain (i) direct benefits such as resources or increased paternal care, (ii) indirect genetic benefits for their offspring, or (iii) insurance against infertility in their own social mate. Few studies have been able to(More)
We generated a comprehensive phylogeny for the avian families Sturnidae (starlings, mynas, Rhabdornis, oxpeckers, and allies) and Mimidae (mockingbirds, thrashers, and allies) to explore patterns of morphological and behavioral diversification. Reconstructions were based on mitochondrial DNA sequences from five coding genes (4108 bp), and nuclear intron(More)
Sexual selection is proposed to be an important driver of diversification in animal systems, yet previous tests of this hypothesis have produced mixed results and the mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we use a novel phylogenetic approach to assess the influence of sexual selection on patterns of evolutionary change during 84 recent speciation events(More)
Cooperatively breeding birds have been used frequently to study sex allocation because the adaptive value of the sexes partly depends upon the costs and benefits for parents of receiving help. I examined patterns of directional sex allocation in relation to maternal condition (Trivers-Willard hypothesis), territory quality (helper competition hypothesis),(More)