Principal Investigator

Greg Grether is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society. He and members of his lab have worked on a diverse assortment of animals in a wide range of habitats. The common thread through all of the projects is the role of animal behavior in ecological and evolutionary processes. Some projects have an applied conservation focus while others are aimed purely at advancing knowledge of the natural world.                          Email:

Faculty webpage


Greg received his PhD from UC Davis in 1995, was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara in 1996-98, and joined the UCLA faculty in 1999. His research is supported primarily by the National Science Foundation. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in evolutionary biology and animal behavior and a field course in behavioral ecology through the Field Biology Quarter program.

Graduate Students and Post docs

Jinna Brim is a PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program. She is generally interested in understanding the evolution of behavior and aggression amongst species. She will be studying behavioral interactions in damselfly species in Costa Rica. Her previous research projects include work on the molecular rates of evolution in Antarctic nematodes and ecological distributions of termites using MaxEnt.              Email:


Janine Fischer is a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, co-advised by Greg Grether and Debra Shier. She is interested in how interspecific competition affects species coexistence and the conservation of threatened and endangered species. As a part of her work, she is studying whether experience between interspecific competitors affects the success of an endangered pocket mouse reintroduction. She is also studying how competition and aggression between two kangaroo rat species impacts their space use and their ability to coexist. One of these species is listed as threatened, and competition between the two could have important implications for kangaroo rat conservation and management.                                          Email:

Fernando G. Soley is a postdoctoral fellow from Costa Rica. He is generally interested in the evolution of behavior and in the adaptations of organisms, particularly invertebrates. He has studied behavioral adaptations during foraging and in predator-prey interactions. His main focus has been spider-eating assassin bugs, and more recently, tool-using assassin bugs. Fernando joined our lab to work on the ecology and evolution of rubyspot damselflies.                          Email:


Madeleine Zuercher is a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, co-advised by Greg Grether and Debra Shier. Her previous research projects include investigating dental variation in flying foxes, responses of sparrows to predator cues, and habitat preferences and population ecology of midwestern bats. She is broadly interested in how interactions between species, especially competition, drive changes in their behavior and ecology as well as exploring applications to conservation. Locally, she is using camera traps and behavioral analyses to study the impacts of dogs on gray foxes in the parks of the Santa Monica Mountains. She is also using camera traps and collaborating with biologists in Mexico to study how feral cats impact the native ringtail (or babisuri) on the Espíritu Santo archipelago. Email: