Thomas E Martin

Photo of Martin, Thomas E

Thomas E Martin

DBS Associated Faculty

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

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Research Interests

Geographic variation in avian life history traits and parental care behaviors

Life history traits, such as clutch size, renesting rates, developmental rates, age of first reproduction, and adult survival, along with parental care behaviors (incubation, brooding, feeding young), vary extensively in geographic space. This project focuses on measuring these traits and behaviors for coexisting species across a series of geographic sites that differ in adult and nest mortalities (Arizona (current), Malaysia (current), Venezuela (done), South Africa (done), New Zealand (done), Tasmania (done)).

Climate effects on a high elevation riparian ecosystem and bird community

A long-term (since 1985) study of a high elevation riparian ecosystem and bird community demonstrates climate effects on trophic interactions among plants, birds, and nest predation. Key deciduous plants and several bird species have declined strongly in abundance, with one previously common bird species (MacGillivray's Warbler) even going locally extinct. Large herbivores may interact with climate change to cause plant losses (see next project).

Large herbivore exclusion experiment on a riparian ecosystem

Long-term declines in plants, and many bird species that rely on these plants, may reflects of over-browsing by large herbivores, together with climate change (see above project). Herbivory and climate may interact in that drier years may yield lower plant propogation that make them more susceptible to browsing pressures. Large-scale (9 ha) exclosures were erected on three sites in 2004 to examine the separate effects of herbivores versus climate.

Field of Study

Population and evolutionary ecology



Specialized Skills


Professional Experience


International Experience


Honors / Awards




Selected Publications

Martin, T. E.  2015.  Age-related mortality explains life history strategies of temperate and tropical songbirds.  Science 349: 966-970.

Martin, T. E., J. C. Oteyza, A. J. Boyce, P. Lloyd, and R. Ton.  2015.  Adult mortality probability and nest predation rates explain parental effort in warming eggs and embryo development time.  American Naturalist 186: 223-236.

Martin, T. E., J. C. Oteyza, A. E. Mitchell, A. L. Potticary, and P. Lloyd.  2015.  Post-natal growth rates covary weakly with embryonic development rates and do not explain adult mortality probability among songbirds on four continents.  American Naturalist 185: 380-389.

Martin, T. E.  2014.  Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds.  Journal of Applied Ecology 52: 475–485.

Martin, T. E.  2014.  A conceptual framework for clutch size evolution in songbirds.  American Naturalist 183: 313-324.

Martin, T. E., R. Ton, and A. Niklison.  2013. Intrinsic vs. extrinsic influences on life history expression: metabolism and parentally-induced temperature influences on embryo development rate.  Ecology Letters 16: 738-745.

Martin, T. E., and J. L. Maron.  2012.  Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions.  Nature Climate Change 2: 195-200.