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Richard D. Stevens

Associate Professor
Department of Natural Resources Management



Richard D. Stevens


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True to being a TEXAN, the ecology and evolution that we address in my lab are BIG, whether it be the big classical or contemporary questions of ecology, or big spatial or temporal extents encompassing entire higher clades of organisms. Research is firmly grounded in empiricism and focuses on mammalian taxa such as bats and rodents because they represent ideal ecological model organisms due to their abundance, diversity and broad ecological and evolutionary radiations.

More specifically, my research interests lie at the nexus of community ecology, macroecology, and biogeography. Part of my work examines the basic community ecology of bats and rodents in Paraguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, California and Louisiana, in particular the effects of species environment interactions, seasonality and competition on the structure of communities. We are also actively examining rodent metacommunity dynamics in the Mojave National Preserve in southern California.  I am also interested in the mechanistic bases of broad-scale patterns in the structure and diversity of communities.  Typically we explore spatial variation of New World mammals, particularly bats, using indices that are more resolved and incorporate information regarding not only richness and evenness but also the ecological and evolutionary attributes of species (e.g., functional, phylogenetic, and phenetic dimensions of biodiversity).  In addition to characterizing variation in biodiversity we also evaluate how variation along primary environmental gradients (e.g., temperature, productivity, heterogeneity) contributes to one of the most ubiquitous patterns describing the distribution and abundance of organisms-- the latitudinal gradient in biodiversity.


Ecology of Texas Kangaroo Rats (Dipodomys elator)

Mojave Desert Rodent Metacommunities

Broad-Scale Patterns of Biodiversity

Community Ecology and Conservation
of Bats in Atlantic Forest

Morphometric Approaches to Comparative Biology

Use of highway structures as temporary and permanent roosts by bats

Basic Community Ecology