David L. Clark, Ph.D.
Chair and Professor of Biology
Joined Alma College Faculty in 1992
Office Hours: MWF: 9-10; TTH 10-11
The emphasis of my research is on animal communication and the evolution of visual displays. The types of animals I study are diverse and include anole lizards, fish, turtles and spiders. A large part of my research program has focused on the dimorphic jumping spider (Maevia inclemens) where there are two distinct male types that differ dramatically in both appearance and courtship behavior. Research projects with Alma College undergraduates have examined female mate choice, reproductive success and predation risks of the two male morphs. Recent research projects have dealt with habitat light characterization and visual displays in wolf spiders; correlates of spider silk reflectance patterns and habitat irradiance spectra; and, camouflage in flower-dwelling crab spiders.
- Ph.D., University of Cincinnati (1992)
- M.S., Central Michigan University (1987)
- B.S., Central Michigan University (1982)
Animal Behavior, Mate Choice, Spider Biology, Herpetology
Recent Courses Taught
- Invertebrate Biology. BIO 303.
- Seminar - Human Ethology. BIO 280.
- Organismal Biology. BIO 120.
- Research Methods. BIO 249.
- Animal Behavior. BIO 361.
Directed Student Presentations and Achievements
- Mr. Mark Stuart, Reflectance and skin morphology of Ecuadorian ground lizards (Microlophus spp.)
- Mr. Aaron Hollenberg, Vigor and Signal Matching in Male Wolf Spiders, Schizocosa ocreata
- Mr. Gabe Sovobony, Associative Learning and Eavesdropping in Male Wolf Spiders, Schizocosa ocreata
- Ms. Rebecca Mortenson, Age Comparison of Reflectance Patterns of Midland Painted turtles.
- Mr. Charles Bunce, Color change in Adult Midland Painted Turtles.
- Mr. Brett Seymoure, Spectral Profiles of the Midland Painted Turtle, Chrysemes picta
- See More...
- Clark, D.L., J.A. Roberts, G.W. Uetz. "Eavesdropping and signal matching in visual courtship displays of male wolf spiders." Biology Letters. 2012 (In press)
- Uetz, G. W., D.L. Clark, J. A. Roberts, M. Rector. "Effect of visual background complexity and light level on detection of visual signals of male Schizocosa ocreata wolf spiders by female wolf spider receivers." Behav Ecol Sociobiol,. 2011. 65:753-761.
- Taylor, L., D.L. Clark and K.J. McGraw. "Condition-dependence of male display coloration in a jumping spider (Habronattus pyrrithrix)." Behav Ecol Sociobiol. 2010. 65(5), 1133-1146
- Clark, D.L. and B. Biesiadecki. "Mating success and alternative reproductive strategies of the dimorphic jumping spider, Maevia inclemens (Araneae, Salticidae)." Journal of Arachnology. 2002. 30. 511-518
- Macedonia, J.M. and Clark, D.L.. "Headbob display analysis of the Grand Cayman anole, Anolis conspersus." J. Herpetol.. 2001. 35:300-310.
- Taylor, P.W., Hasson, O. & Clark, D.L.. "Initiation and resolution of jumping spider contests: roles for size, and proximity of rivals." Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.. 2001. 50:403-413.
- See More...
- "Crypticness and Conspicuosness in Spiders." Department of Biology. Hope College, Holland, Michigan. April 1, 2005.
- "Influences of Environmental Variation on Courtship Behavior in the Wolf Spider Schizocosa ocreata.." University of Cincinnati. Cincinnati Nature Center. April 15, 2005.
Selected External Research Grants
- David L. Clark, George W. Uetz.  "Sensory Ecology of an Animal Communication Network: Environmental Complexity, Eavesdroppers and Cue-Readers." National Science Foundation. Effective: June 1, 2003.
- David L. Clark, Oren Hasson.  "Evolution of courtship behavior in the jumping spider Plexippus paykuli." Binational Science Foundation. Effective: June 1, 1994.
- Michigan Academy Sciences
- American Arachnological Society