David Pike

David Pike
The Cultured Mushroom · Cultivation

PhD

About

101
Publications
24,369
Reads
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2,952
Citations
Introduction
I study interactions among organisms and their environment to explore questions related to ecology, evolution, and conservation in a global change context. My current work focuses on reptile ecology and evolution, climate change impacts on sea turtles and lizards, and how disease impacts frog populations.
Additional affiliations
September 2015 - present
University of South Florida
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2011 - June 2014
James Cook University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
June 2006 - December 2009
The University of Sydney
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
June 2006 - June 2010
The University of Sydney
Field of study
  • Biology
August 2002 - December 2005
Towson University
Field of study
  • Biology
August 1998 - May 2002
North Carolina State University
Field of study
  • Zoology

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
Host behavior can interact with environmental context to influence outcomes of pathogen exposure and the impact of disease on species and populations. Determining whether the thermal behaviors of individual species influence susceptibility to disease can help enhance our ability to explain and predict how and when disease outbreaks are likely to oc...
Article
AimHurricanes bring wind and rainfall that can have dramatic effects on coastal ecosystems, which provide important nesting locations for some migratory species. We investigated the frequency with which hurricanes impact spatially and biologically distinct sea turtle nesting populations to understand whether the reproductive biology of sea turtles...
Article
Ecosystem engineers play fundamental ecological roles by modifying habitats in ways that affect a multitude of other species and by creating refugia with novel microclimates. We hypothesize that burrow-creating organisms may facilitate climate change adaptation by providing refugia from extreme and fluctuating temperatures found aboveground. We sup...
Article
Animals living in tropical regions may be at increased risk from climate change because current temperatures at these locations already approach critical physiological thresholds. Relatively small temperature increases could cause animals to exceed these thresholds more often, resulting in substantial fitness costs or even death. Oviparous species...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental temperature is a crucial abiotic factor that influences the success of ectothermic organisms, including hosts and pathogens in disease systems. One example is the amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has led to widespread amphibian population declines. Understanding its thermal ecology is essential to e...
Article
Full-text available
Detailed information on life history and ecology is essential for successful conservation and management. However, we have relatively little detailed data on the life history and ecology of most small lizard species, relative to other vertebrates, especially those that have undergone recent taxonomic changes. We studied the ecology of the elegant s...
Article
Microhabitat orientation and structure and the presence of conspecifics may strongly influence the choice of habitat. We studied how these variables influence retreat- and nest-site selection in gravid females of a globally successful invasive species, the Asian house gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). When provided with various substrates (vertical an...
Article
1. The course and outcome of many wildlife diseases are context-dependent, and therefore change depending on the behaviour of hosts and environmental response of the pathogen. 2. Contemporary declines in amphibian populations are widely attributed to chytridiomycosis, caused by the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Despite the therm...
Article
Full-text available
Phylogenetic analysis has shown that males' propensity to engage in aggressive encounters is associated with females having greater longevity. Here, we confirm the causal link between aggression and reduced longevity by looking at an egg-eating snake (Oligodon formosanus) in which females defend territories in the presence of sea turtle eggs. We mo...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental unpredictability can influence strategies of maternal investment among eggs within a clutch. Models predict that breeding females should adopt a diversified bet-hedging strategy in unpredictable environments, but empirical field evidence from Asia is scarce. Here we tested this hypothesis by exploring spatial patterns in egg size alon...
Article
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Unprecedented global climate change and increasing rates of infectious disease emergence are occurring simultaneously. Infection with emerging pathogens may alter the thermal thresholds of hosts. However, the effects of fungal infection on host thermal limits have not been examined. Moreover, the influence of infections on the heat tolerance of hos...
Article
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Nest building is a taxonomically widespread and diverse trait that allows animals to alter local environments to create optimal conditions for offspring development. However, there is growing evidence that climate change is adversely affecting nest-building in animals directly, for example via sea-level rises that flood nests, reduced availability...
Article
Full-text available
Many animals produce advertisement vocalisations to attract mates. A vocalisation's active space is the area within which a receiver responds to it, while its maximum extent occurs when a receiver stops responding. We mapped behavioural responses of male and female cane toads (Rhinella marina) to advertisement calls, by conducting experimental play...
Article
Full-text available
Commercially available fluctuating temperature chambers are large and costly. This poses a challenge to experimental ecologists endeavouring to recreate natural temperature cycles in the laboratory because the large number of commercial chambers required for replicated study designs is prohibitively expensive to purchase, requires a large amount of...
Article
Full-text available
Reproduction is an energetically costly behavior for many organisms, including species with mating systems in which males call to attract females. In these species, calling males can often attract more females by displaying more often, with higher intensity, or at certain frequencies. Male frogs attract females almost exclusively by calling, and we...
Article
Full-text available
Communal nesting lizards may be vulnerable to climate warming, particularly if air temperatures regulate nest temperatures. In southeastern Australia, velvet geckos Oedura lesueurii lay eggs communally inside rock crevices. We investigated whether increases in air temperatures could elevate nest temperatures, and if so, how this could influence hat...
Article
Full-text available
Wildlife rehabilitation can contribute to species conservation by releasing healthy individuals back into the wild and educating the public about threatening processes. Rehabilitation has substantial financial costs, however, and thus it is important to understand the success rates of these potential conservation management actions. We quantified t...
Article
Wildlife rehabilitation can contribute to species conservation by releasing healthy individuals back into the wild and educating the public about threatening processes. Rehabilitation has substantial financial costs, however, and thus it is important to understand the success rates of these potential conservation management actions. We quantified t...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is threatening reproduction of many ectotherms by increasing nest temperatures, potentially making it more difficult for females to locate nest sites that provide suitable incubation regimes during embryonic development. Elevated nest temperatures could increase the incidence of embryonic mortality and/or maladaptive phenotypes. We i...
Article
Full-text available
Natural disturbances can drive disease dynamics in animal populations by altering the microclimates experienced by hosts and their pathogens. Many pathogens are highly sensitive to temperature and moisture, and therefore small changes in habitat structure can alter the microclimate in ways that increase or decrease infection prevalence and intensit...
Article
Full-text available
Australia Contemporary sea-level rise will inundate coastal habitats with seawater more frequently, disrupting the life cycles of terrestrial fauna well before permanent habitat loss occurs. Sea turtles are reliant on low-lying coastal habitats worldwide for nesting, where eggs buried in the sand remain vulnerable to inundation until hatching. We s...
Article
Full-text available
To minimize the negative effects of an infection on fitness, hosts can respond adaptively by altering their reproductive effort or by adjusting their timing of reproduction. We studied effects of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on the probability of calling in a stream-breeding rainforest frog (Litoria rheocola). In uninfected...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the reproductive ecology of Sichuan digging frog (Microhylidae: Kaloula rugifera) in Mian- yang, China during the wet season (from May to Septemper) of 2013. Male K. rugifera first appeared at temporary ponds following the first heavy rain of the wet season and initiated calling. Male frogs formed choruses throughout the wet season...
Article
Full-text available
Developing sea turtle embryos only successfully hatch within a relatively narrow temperature range, rendering this immobile life stage vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change. To accurately predict the potential impact of climate change on sea turtle egg mortality, we need to fully understand the thermal tolerance of developing embryos. We rev...
Article
Full-text available
Vocal communication is widely used by vertebrates to transfer complex information to conspecifics. Although most birds, mammals, frogs, and crocodilians communicate vocally, most squamate reptiles are mute and unable to broadcast sound signals. Notable exceptions are gekkonid lizards, in which vocal communication is phylogenetically widespread. We...
Article
Full-text available
Producing sperm is energetically inexpensive, and strong competition for mating partners can lead to increased size of the testes in an effort to enhance reproductive success. On the other hand, selection on testes size can also be imposed by environmental conditions. We studied altitudinal variation and directional asymmetry in testis weight in a...
Article
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The ability to detect and avoid potential predators can enhance fitness, but also has costs, and thus many animals respond to potential predators either in a general (avoid all potential predators) or threat-sensitive (selectively avoid dangerous predators) manner. We used 2-choice trials to investigate strategies used by globally invasive house ge...
Article
Full-text available
Conspicuous colouration can evolve as a primary defence mechanism that advertises unprofitability and discourages predatory attacks. Geographic overlap is a primary determinant of whether individual predators encounter, and thus learn to avoid, such aposematic prey. We experimentally tested whether the conspicuous colouration displayed by Old World...
Article
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Producing smart offspring is an important fitness trait; individuals with enhanced cognitive ability should be more adept at responding to complex environmental demands. Cognitive ability can be influenced by conditions experienced during embryonic development. Although oxygen is necessary for embryonic development, availability can be limited with...
Article
Typically, anuran amphibians favor larger females as mates because larger females lay more eggs; thus, males in amplexus can increase the number of eggs fertilized, and fitness. However, males may also prefer those females that were closest to the norm for their population in overlapping populations, and these individuals do not receive the benefit...
Chapter
Full-text available
Australia has a spectacular and diverse reptile fauna approaching 1000 species, 93% of which are endemic to the continent. Despite this, there is a paucity of information on the biology of Australian reptiles compared with mammals and birds. The single greatest threat to Australian reptiles is the removal of native vegetation, most of which has occ...
Article
Animals may aggregate either because the presence of conspecifics provides information about habitat suitability, or because the presence of conspecifics directly enhances individual viability. For a female lizard, the advantage of laying her eggs in a communal nest may entail either information transfer (hatched eggshells show that the site has be...
Article
Reproducing females can allocate energy between the production of eggs or offspring of different size or number, both of which can strongly influence fitness. The physical capacity to store developing offspring imposes constraints on maximum clutch volume, but individual females and populations can trade off whether more or fewer eggs or offspring...
Article
Full-text available
Rates of growth and reproduction of the pathogens that cause emerging infectious diseases can be affected by local environmental conditions; these conditions can thus influence the strength and nature of disease outbreaks. An understanding of these relationships is important for understanding disease ecology and developing mitigation strategies. Wi...
Data
The three different arrangements of 96-well plates used in our experiments: Plate A, Plate B, and Plate C. Two of these plate arrangements (A and B; A and C; or B and C) were haphazardly assigned to each thermal treatment. Each numbered column (labelled 1-12) contains eight wells arranged in rows (A–H). (DOC)
Data
Fisher’s LSD post-hoc results for ANOVAs comparing optical densities among temperatures, analysed separately for each isolate during the logarithmic growth phase (Day 5) and the stationary phase (Day 14). (DOC)
Data
Fisher’s LSD post-hoc results for ANOVAs comparing standardised optical densities among temperatures for each isolate during the logarithmic growth phase (Day 5) and the stationary phase (Day 14). (DOC)
Article
Some species are adapting to changing environments by expanding their geographic ranges. Understanding whether range shifts will be accompanied by increased exposure to other threats is crucial to predicting when and where new populations could successfully establish. If species overlap to a greater extent with human development under climate chang...
Article
Enhancing species resilience to changing environmental conditions is often suggested as a climate change adaptation strategy. To effectively achieve this, it is necessary first to understand the factors that determine species resilience, and their relative importance in shaping the ability of species to adjust to the complexities of environmental c...
Article
AimTo understand whether climate limits current sea turtle nesting distributions and shapes the ecological niche of the terrestrial life‐history stage of these wide‐ranging marine vertebrates. LocationCoastlines world‐wide. MethodsI predicted the spatial distributions of nesting habitat under current climatic conditions for seven sea turtle species...
Article
Fire‐induced changes in canopy openness may affect sunlight penetration to the forest floor, and thus the operative temperatures available to terrestrial ectotherms. We examined thermal regimes for two types of ectotherms: diurnally active species that utilize sun‐exposed patches to regulate their body temperatures, and nocturnally active species t...
Article
Full-text available
Parents are expected to evolve tactics to care for eggs or offspring when providing such care increases fitness above the costs incurred by this behavior. Costs to the parent include the energetic demands of protecting offspring, delaying future fecundity, and increased risk of predation. We used cost-benefit models to test the ecological condition...
Article
Full-text available
Expressing parental care after oviposition or parturition is usually an obligate (evolved) trait within a species, despite evolutionary theory predicting that widespread species should vary in whether or not they express parental care according to local selection pressures. The lizard Eutropis longicaudata expresses maternal care only in a single p...
Article
Full-text available
Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often...
Article
Full-text available
Background To conserve critically endangered predators, we also need to conserve the prey species upon which they depend. Velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii) are a primary prey for the endangered broad-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides), which is restricted to sandstone habitats in southeastern Australia. We sequenced the ND2 gene from 179 velve...
Data
Full-text available
Pairwise ΦST values between populations and p-values.
Data
Full-text available
Maximum parsimony (MP) consensus tree (50% majority rule).
Article
1. In oviparous species providing maternal care, the choice of nest site is crucial for the survival of both the eggs and the mother. Most embryos only develop successfully within a narrow range of incubation conditions, which may differ from the mother's own requirements. 2. How, then, do nest-attending mothers select sites that provide suitable c...
Article
Full-text available
Many endangered species persist as a series of isolated populations, with some populations more genetically diverse than others. If climate change disproportionately threatens the most diverse populations, the species’ ability to adapt (and hence its long-term viability) may be affected more severely than would be apparent by its numerical reductio...
Article
Eggshell structure is related to fundamental aspects of embryonic development (via water and gas exchange), adult ecology and behavior (via nest site selection), and demography (via effects on survival). We compared life-history characteristics between gekkotans that lay rigid- versus parchment- shelled eggs to determine if evolutionary shifts in e...
Article
Full-text available
An understanding of the rate at which long-lived species grow is essential for determining important life history parameters, including assessments of foraging habitat quality, the time taken to reach sexual maturity, and the age at which maturity is reached. The hawksbill sea turtle Eretmochelys imbricata is a Critically Endangered species that is...
Article
Full-text available
For endangered species that persist as apparently isolated populations within a previously more extensive range, the degree of genetic exchange between those populations is critical to conservation and management. A lack of gene flow can exacerbate impacts of threatening processes and delay or prevent colonization of sites after local extirpation....
Article
In oviparous species lacking parental care, successful reproduction depends on females selecting nest sites that facilitate embryonic development. Such sites may be limited in the environment, which can lead to multiple females using the same nest site simultaneously. However, there are several alternative explanations for communal nesting, includi...
Article
Full-text available
Determining the context in which animals move through unfamiliar landscapes helps elucidate the risks associated with returning to known resources and the factors that outweigh those risks. For example, females that become separated from their nests can return to protect their offspring from predation, thereby increasing fitness, but also risking h...
Article
Full-text available
Nest-site selection involves tradeoffs between the risk of predation (on females and/or nests) and nest-site quality (microenvironment), and consequently suitable nesting sites are often in limited supply. Interactions with "classical" predators (e.g., those not competing for shared resources) can strongly influence nest-site selection, but whether...
Article
Full-text available
The mechanism that facilitates the evolution of maternal care is ambiguous in egg-laying terrestrial vertebrates: does the ability of mothers to recognize their own eggs lead them under some circumstances to begin providing care or can maternal care evolve from simply being in close proximity to the eggs (e.g. through territorial behaviour)? This q...
Article
Summary  In many ecosystems, increases in vegetation density and the resulting closure of forest canopies are threatening the viability of species that depend upon open, sunlight-exposed habitats. Consequently, we need to develop management strategies that recreate open habitats while minimizing the impacts on non-target areas. Selective logging cr...
Article
Full-text available
1. Through nest-site selection, mothers exert control over the incubation environment to which eggs are exposed, which in turn can affect offspring fitness. The strong relationship between offspring quality and incubation temperature in many ectotherms suggests that contemporary climate change could modify the fitness benefits gained from such beha...
Article
Asian turtles have declined substantially in recent decades because of the large-scale collection of wild individuals for the food, pet, and medicine trades. This has hampered studies into the ecology and natural history of turtles in their natural habitats because many species have become so rare that they are simply unavailable for study. One way...