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David Clark


Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology



Contact Info

(989) 463-7058

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Dr. Clark’s research focuses on animal communication and the evolution of visual displays. Actively engaging undergraduate students in his research, he studies a variety of animals, including spiders, lizards, fish and turtles. Since 2010, Clark has been conducting research on lava lizards in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Clark’s work has been featured in several media publications, including National Geographic Magazine and a Scientific American television presentation. In 2012, Clark was the visiting scientist on site with British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough on a 3D documentary, “The Galapagos 3D.” The documentary included a segment featuring Clark’s research using robotic lizards to test questions about lizard signaling and communication.

Educational Background:

  • B.S., Central Michigan University (1982)
  • M.S., Central Michigan University (1987)
  • Ph.D., University of Cincinnati (1992)

My Expertise

Animal communication and evolution.

Recent Work and Accomplishments

Clark, D.L., Macedonia, J.M., Neyer, E.E., Mish, A.M.E., Rowe, J.W., & Valle, C.A. (2023). Display Responses of Galapagos Lava Lizards (Microlophus bivittatus) to Manipulation of Male Shoulder Epaulets on Conspecific-Mimicking Robots. Herpetological, 79(1), 34-37.

Uetz, G.W., Clark, D.L., & Stoffer, B. (2022). On the strengths and limitations of field, semi-natural captive, and laboratory settings. In P d’Ettore and T.M. Freeberg (Eds.) Handbook of Comparative Psychology. Routledge International.

Mancero, E.J., Valle, C.A., Rowe, J.W., Moore, J.A., & Clark, D.L. (2022). Sexual Selection in San Cristobal Lava Lizards (Microlophus bivittatus): Male Body Size Matters. Herpetologica 78(2), 93-101.

Gillingham, J.C., & Clark, D.L. (2022). Normal Behavior. In G. Burghardt and C. Warwick (Eds.) Health and Welfare of Captive Reptiles, Springer Press.

Macedonia, J.M., Clark, D.L., & Fonley, M.R. (2021). Analysis of bobbing displays in Grahami series anoles from Jamaica and Grand Cayman. Herpetological Monographs.

Dufour, C.M., Clark, D.L., Herrel, A., & Losos, J.B. (2020). Recent biological invasion shapes species recognition and aggressive behaviour in a native species: A behavioural experiment using robots in the field. J. of Animal Ecology, 89(7), 1604-1614. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2656.13223