Leticia Avilés


Research in my lab seeks to elucidate the forces responsible the association of lower level units into higher levels of organization and the consequences of such associations on the structure and dynamics of populations, communities, and, more recently, whole ecosystems.  Using empirical and theoretical approaches, our population and community level studies have used social spiders as a model system to address questions such as:

  1. the ecology and biogeography of social evolution;
  2. the short and long term consequences of inbreeding; 
  3. the evolution of life history traits and local population dynamics in metapopulations; and
  4. sociality and community assembly.

Following up on the patterns uncovered in our earlier work, more recently we have been investigating how broad environmental gradients shape the nature of organisms and their interactions.  In this context, we have been studying how insect size, spider web characteristics, level of sociality, predation or parasitism rates change along elevation and precipitation gradients in Ecuador.  


  • Animal Behaviour (Biol 310)
  • Darwinian Medicine (ISCI350)
  • Field Ecology (Biol 409)

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For Research

Animal Behavior Society

NSERC Discovery Grants Accelerator Award

For Research

Fellow Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin

For Research

Young Investigator Award, American Society of Naturalists

For Research