Patrick R. Stephens

Associate Research Scientist
Graduate Faculty

Professional Website


Ph.D. – Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook NY

MS – Biology, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

BS – Biology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL

More About

I use phylogenetic methods to explore questions that lie at the intersection of ecology and evolutionary biology.

Research Interests

Phylogenetic  approaches to problems in ecology and evolutionary biology, including:

  • Niche conservatism and the origins of geographic patterns of community structure
  • Systematics and evolutionary ecology of amphibians and reptiles, particularly emydid turtles
  • Vertebrate biogeography and trait evolution
  • Disease ecology
Selected Publications

Gittleman, J. L., and P. R. Stephens. 2011. Rates of metabolism and evolution. In Brown, J. H., Sibley, R.M., and A. Kodrick-Brown, eds. Metabolic Ecology. Wiley-Blackwell (in press).

Smith, F. A., A. G. Boyer, J. H. Brown, D. P. Costa, T. Dayan, S. K. Morgan Ernest, A. R. Evans, M. Fortelius, J. L. Gittleman, M. J. Hamilton, L. E. Harding, K. Lintulaakso, S. K. Lyons, C. McCain, J. Okie, J. J. Saarinen, R. M. Sibley, P. R. Stephens, J. Theodor, and M. D. Uhen. 2010. The evolution of maximum body size of terrestrial mammals. Science 330:1216-1219.

Wiens, J. J., D.D. Ackerly, L. B. Buckley, T. J. Davies, N. J. B. Kraft, S. P. Harrison, B. Anacker, H. V. Cornell, E. I. Damschen, J-A Gryntes, B. A. Hawkins, C. M. McCain, and P. R. Stephens. 2010. Niche conservatism as an emerging principle in ecology and evolutionary biology. Ecology Letters 13:1310-1324.

Stephens, P. R., and J. J. Wiens. 2009. Bridging the gap between community ecology and biogeography: niche conservatism and community structure in emydid turtles. Molecular Ecology 18:4465-4676.

Stephens, P. R., and J. J. Wiens. 2003. Explaining species richness from continents to communities: the time for speciation effect in emydid turtles. American Naturalist 161: 112–128.