Selina A. Ruzi

Selina A. Ruzi
North Carolina State University | NCSU · Applied Ecology

PhD

About

11
Publications
1,143
Reads
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84
Citations
Introduction
My current postdoctoral work has two main focusses. First, how bee diversity changes through time and urbanization using museum specimens. Second, whether the spokesperson communicating a science story influences perceptions of that story. My dissertation focused primarily on determining if plants that are not known to have elaiosome food bodies attached to their seeds engage in ant-mediated seed dispersal and what chemical cues may promote this seed-ant removal interaction.
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
North Carolina State University
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • I am an NSF PRFB fellow investigating how bee diversity changes through time and urbanization using museum specimens. Additionally, I am working on whether the spokesperson communicating a science story influences perceptions of that story.
Education
August 2012 - May 2019
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Field of study
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology
September 2008 - May 2012
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Field of study
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

Publications

Publications (11)
Article
Full-text available
Communication of science through online media has become a primary means of disseminating and connecting science with a public audience. However, online media can come in many forms and stories of scientific discovery can be told by many individuals. We tested whether the relationship of a spokesperson to the science story being told (i.e., the nar...
Article
Full-text available
Plants are often dispersal limited relying on passive or active agents to find suitable microhabitats for germination. Seeds of pioneer tree species, for example, require light gaps for growth but have short median dispersal distances and often do not provide a food reward to encourage animal dispersal. Zanthoxylum ekmanii seeds are frequently move...
Data
Plants are often dispersal limited relying on passive or active agents to find suitable microhabitats for germination. Seeds of pioneer tree species, for example, require light gaps for growth but have short median dispersal distances and often do not provide a food reward to encourage animal dispersal. Zanthoxylum ekmanii seeds are frequently move...
Article
Full-text available
Many plants depend on animals for seed dispersal, and ants commonly fill this role. We examined whether heterogeneity in ant community composition among sites, between above‐ and belowground foraging guilds, or between seasons predicts observed variation in seed removal rates for 12 nonmyrmecochorous Neotropical pioneer tree species on Barro Colora...
Data
Many plants depend on animals for seed dispersal, and ants commonly fill this role. We examined if heterogeneity in ant community composition among sites, between above-and below-ground foraging guilds, or between seasons predicts observed variation in seed removal rates for 12 nonmyrmecochorous Neotropical pioneer tree species on Barro Colorado Is...
Article
Full-text available
Biological invasions are a form of global change threatening biodiversity, ecosystem stability, and human health, and cost government agencies billions of dollars in remediation and eradication programs. Attempts to eradicate introduced species are most successful when detection of newly established populations occurs early in the invasion process....
Article
Social insect colonies are high-value foraging targets for insectivores, prompting the evolution of complex colony defensive adaptations as well as specialized foraging tactics in social insect predators. Predatory ants that forage on other social insects employ a diverse range of behaviors targeted at specific prey species. Here, we describe a sol...
Article
Full-text available
Primary dispersal agents move seeds from the maternal plant to the soil surface where they are often moved again by secondary dispersal agents. However, the extent to which different species in the same location experience secondary dispersal is often unknown despite the importance of this mechanism for determining recruitment opportunities and con...
Presentation
Ant‐mediated seed dispersal has evolved multiple times in many regions around the world, affecting plant distributions through both primary and secondary dispersal. Most research investigating the chemical cues associated with ant‐mediated seed dispersal has focused on dispersal of myrmecochourous plants. Myrmecochorous plants have food bodies call...
Presentation
Understanding the role of dispersal in determining population dynamics has been a cornerstone of the fields of population ecology and conservation biology since their inception. Plants have little control over the fate of their seeds, therefore secondary dispersal mechanisms are particularly important in determining plant community. We investigated...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Dispersal is a fundamental process that affects all aspects of an organism’s biology including its distribution, genetic structure, demography, and reproduction. Ant-mediated seed dispersal has evolved multiple times in many biogeographical locations. Most research in this area has focused on myrmecochorous plants that are known to elicit seed dispersal by providing a specialized lipid rich food reward called an elaiosome attached to their seeds. However, seeds that are not known to have this food reward may still be attractive to ants. The aim of my dissertation was to describe the movement of seeds of Neotropical pioneer tree species that are not known to have elaiosomes by ants.
Project
We study the complex behavioral and morphological variation associated with nest defense in the stingless bee Tetragonisca angustula, and also work on bio-inspired design projects that utilize these highly successful strategies to solve human domain problems.