Matthew Austin

Matthew Austin
Washington University in St. Louis | WUSTL , Wash U · Department of Biology

Ph.D.

About

8
Publications
1,318
Reads
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47
Citations
Citations since 2016
8 Research Items
47 Citations
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Introduction
Matthew Austin is an ecologist who leverages plant-pollinator systems to understand how responses to environmental variability affect survival and reproduction. His research bridges scales of biological organization – from how individual phenotypes affect population dynamics, to how community composition affects reproduction. He is passionate about science education, with a focus on engaging undergraduate students in the scientific method and involving the public in conservation activities.
Additional affiliations
August 2017 - December 2018
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Position
  • Teaching Assistant, BIOL1831
August 2015 - present
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Position
  • Researcher
August 2015 - May 2017
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Position
  • Teaching Assistant, BIOL1821
Education
August 2017 - December 2019
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Field of study
  • Education
August 2015 - August 2020
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Field of study
  • Biology - Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics
August 2015 - May 2018
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Field of study
  • Biology - Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics

Publications

Publications (8)
Article
Environmental effects on learning are well known, such as cognition that is mediated by nutritional consumption. Less known is how seasonally variable environments affect phenological trajectories of learning. Here, we test the hypothesis that nutritional availability affects seasonal trajectories of population-level learning in species with develo...
Article
Full-text available
Premise: Although the balance between cross‐and self‐fertilization is driven by the environment, no long‐term study has documented whether anthropogenic climate change is affecting reproductive strategy allocation in species with mixed mating systems. Here, we test whether the common blue violet (Viola sororia; Violaceae) has altered relative allo...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental heterogeneity resulting from human-modified landscapes can increase intraspecific trait variation. However, less known is whether such phenotypic variation is driven by plastic or adaptive responses to local environments. Here, we study five bumble bee (Apidae: Bombus) species across an urban gradient in the greater Saint Louis, Misso...
Article
Sex-specific cognitive abilities are well documented. These can occur when sexes engage in different ecological contexts. Less known is whether different ecological contexts can also drive sex-specific participation rates in behavioral tests. Here, we explore this question in bumble bees, a group of eusocial insects where worker females and males e...
Article
Full-text available
Pollinators are considered a major selective force in shaping the diversification of angiosperms. It has been hypothesized that convergent evolution of floral form has resulted in “pollination syndromes” - i.e. suites of floral traits that correspond to attraction of particular pollinator functional groups. Across the literature, the pollination sy...
Article
Population declines have been documented in approximately one-third of bumble bee species. Certain drivers of these declines are known; however, less is known about the interspecific trait differences that make certain species more susceptible to decline. Two traits that have implications for responding to rapidly changed environments may be partic...
Article
Animals have evolved in complex, heterogeneous environments. Thus, decision-making behavior is likely affected by a diversity of co-occurring community-level traits. Here, we investigate how 3 co-occurring traits of floral communities-the number of flower types, reliability that flowers are associated with a reward, and signal complexity of flowers...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretical treatments of the evolution of learning have a long and rich history, and although many aspects remain unresolved, the consensus is that the predictability and timescale of environmental change play a crucial role in when learning evolves. Directly testing these ideas has proven difficult because comparative experiments must assume many...

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