Breanna J Putman

Breanna J Putman
California State University, San Bernardino | CSUSB · Department of Biology

Ph.D.

About

39
Publications
12,224
Reads
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406
Citations
Introduction
Assistant professor of biology at California State University, San Bernardino. I study the effects of urbanization on reptiles in Southern California. I have broad interests in fear ecology, predator-prey interactions, social behavior, and physiological ecology.
Education
August 2010 - June 2016
University of California, Davis
Field of study
  • Ecology
August 2010 - June 2016
San Diego State University
Field of study
  • Ecology
September 2005 - December 2010

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
Animals often view humans as predators, leading to alterations in their behavior. Even nuanced aspects of human activity like clothing color affect animal behavior, but we lack an understanding of when and where such effects will occur. The species confidence hypothesis posits that birds are attracted to colors found on their bodies and repelled by...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization-induced habitat loss and alteration causes significant challenges for the survival of many species. Identifying how species respond to urbanization can yield insights for the conservation of wildlife, but research on reptiles has been narrowly-focused. We compared morphology among four populations of western fence lizards (Sceloporus o...
Article
Full-text available
During the worldwide shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many reports emerged of urban wildlife sightings. While these images garnered public interest and declarations of wildlife reclaiming cities, it is unclear whether wildlife truly reoccupied urban areas or whether there were simply increased detections of urban wildlife during this...
Article
Full-text available
Using venom for predation often leads to the evolution of resistance in prey. Understanding individual variation in venom resistance is key to unlocking basic mechanisms by which antagonistic coevolution can sustain variation in traits under selection. For prey, the opposing challenges of predator avoidance and resource acquisition often lead to co...
Article
Full-text available
Studying animals in urban environments is especially challenging because much of the area is private property not easily accessible to professional scientists. In addition, collecting data on animals that are cryptic, secretive, or rare is also challenging due to the time and resources needed to amass an adequate dataset. Here, we show that communi...
Article
Full-text available
It is increasingly important to study animal behaviors as these are the first responses organisms mount against environmental changes. Rattlesnakes, in particular, are threatened by habitat loss and human activity, and require costly tracking by researchers to quantify the behaviors of wild individuals. Here, we show how photo-vouchered observation...
Article
Full-text available
Sex differences in personality traits, such as boldness, are often driven by differences in life history strategies. Specifically, in a polygynous mating system where males defend territories to acquire mates, it may be beneficial for males to exhibit higher levels of boldness compared to females. However, males may also suffer a higher cost due to...
Article
Full-text available
Urban environments pose different selective pressures than natural ones, leading to changes in animal behavior, physiology, and morphology. Understanding how animals respond to urbanization could inform the management of urban habitats. Non-avian reptiles have important roles in ecosystems worldwide, yet their responses to urbanization have not bee...
Article
Full-text available
Humans profoundly impact landscapes, ecosystems, and animal behavior. In many cases, animals living near humans become tolerant of them and reduce antipredator responses. Yet, we still lack an understanding of the underlying evolutionary dynamics behind these shifts in traits that affect animal survival. Here, we used a phylogenetic meta-analysis t...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions threaten biodiversity worldwide, and therefore, understanding the traits of successful invaders could mitigate their spread. Many commonly invasive species do well in disturbed habitats, such as urban environments, and their abilities to effectively respond to disturbances could contribute to their invasiveness. Yet, there are...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urbanization is an extreme form of habitat modification that can alter ecological relationships among organisms, but these can be hard to study because much of the urban landscape is inaccessible private property. We show that citizen science can be a powerful tool to overcome this challenge. We used photo-vouchered observations submitted to the ci...
Article
Full-text available
Identifying how ecotourism affects wildlife can lower its environmental impact. Human presence is an inherent component of ecotourism, which can impact animal behavior because animals often perceive humans as predators and, consequently, spend more time on human‐directed antipredator behaviors and less on other fitness‐relevant activities. We teste...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals are attracted to the sounds of their conspecifics and some are attracted to the sounds of other species. Therefore, wildlife managers have begun to capitalize on this attraction to lure animals to specific places by broadcasting vocalizations—a method referred to as acoustic playback. Playbacks have been conducted to attract animals fo...
Article
Full-text available
Following publication of the original article [1], it was reported that the article entitled “What is the effectiveness of using conspecific or heterospecific acoustic playbacks for the attraction of animals for wildlife management?
Article
Full-text available
The use of color markings (e.g., non-toxic paint, dye, or pens) is frequently employed by herpetologists to track individuals within a population, but effects of these markings on study animals are generally unknown. Markings could affect survival rates, although this can be difficult to determine through mark-and-recapture methods. With clay model...
Article
Full-text available
Although examples of successful applications of behavioral ecology research to policy and management exist, knowledge generated from such research is in many cases under-utilized by managers and policy makers. On their own, empirical studies and traditional reviews do not offer the robust syntheses that managers and policy makers require to make ev...
Article
Full-text available
Male sexually selected signals can indicate competitive ability by honestly signaling fitness-relevant traits such as condition or performance. However, behavior can also influence contest outcomes; in particular, boldness often predicts dominance rank and mating success. Here, we sought to determine whether male ornament size is associated with co...
Article
Full-text available
A diverse range of prey taxa exhibit stereotyped antipredator behaviors when confronting live predators. Predator cues also elicit antipredator responses, and previous research indicates that prey possess mechanisms to discriminate between the relative risk posed by particular predator cues, which mediates their investment in antipredator behaviors...
Data
Descriptions of color measurements of the T-shirts and of four lizard body regions. T-shirt colors were chosen based on whether their peak wavelengths were similar to those of the sexually-selected signaling color patches of adult male Sceloporus occidentalis. For comparison, two non-signaling body regions are also shown. (DOCX)
Data
Results of post-hoc comparisons from the ANOVAs comparing the mean chromatic and luminance JNDs of each T-shirt color to the lizards’ blue abdominal patch. P values were corrected for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate. Contrasts that met statistical significance (p < 0.05) are in bold. (DOCX)
Data
Results of post-hoc comparisons from the ANOVAs comparing the mean chromatic and luminance JNDs of each T-shirt color to the background environment. P values were corrected for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate. Contrasts that met statistical significance (p < 0.05) are in bold. (DOCX)
Data
Reflectance spectra plots of the four colored T-shirts and various lizard body regions. (PDF)
Data
Results of post-hoc comparisons from the ANOVAs comparing the mean chromatic and luminance JNDs of each T-shirt color to the lizards’ blue throat patch. P values were corrected for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate. Contrasts that met statistical significance (p < 0.05) are in bold. (DOCX)
Article
Increasing temperature due to climate change is one of the greatest challenges for wildlife worldwide. Behavioral data on free-ranging individuals is necessary to determine at what temperatures animals modify activity as this would determine their capacity to continue to move, forage, and mate under altered thermal regimes. In particular, high temp...
Article
Full-text available
Foraging is a key aspect of a species’ ecology and decisions made while foraging affect fitness in many ways. Although much research has focused on snake foraging, only a handful of detailed studies have been conducted on free-ranging individuals, all on Crotalus horridus. We used fixed videography to collect data on free-ranging Northern Pacific R...
Article
Full-text available
We used fixed videography to record the natural ambush foraging behavior of northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) in central coastal California. We captured approximately 2,000 h of snake behavior over two field seasons. During this time we recorded two occurrences of an unusual behavior which has only been reported twice previously: af...
Article
Full-text available
Newborn offspring of animals often exhibit fully functional innate antipredator behaviors, but they may also require learning or further development to acquire appropriate responses. Experience allows offspring to modify responses to specific threats and also leaves them vulnerable during the learning period. However, antipredator behaviors used at...
Article
Full-text available
Rather than fleeing from predators, many animals exhibit conspicuous displays that are thought to deter attacks by advertising quality (physical capabilities), or awareness of the predator. However, prey commonly exhibit the same antipredator display when predators are absent. Signaling in this context could either dishonestly indicate predator det...
Article
Full-text available
The spatial ecology of animals is influenced by a combination of factors. Spatial ecology parameters are commonly calculated for rattlesnakes of the genus Crotalus, but they are highly variable within and among populations and species. Rattlesnake movements can be influenced by sex, body size, season, and abiotic factors, but the relative importanc...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
I am a research mentor for students who participate in the summer Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Las Cruces Biological Station in Costa Rica. The goal is to increase participation and retention of underrepresented students in STEM. Through studies of the behavior and ecology of water anoles, students learn to design and conduct research in a field setting.
Project
To understand the function, ontogeny, and context-dependency of the behavioral and physiological defenses used by squirrels to deter snake predation.