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Eric R. Pianka

Pianka, Eric R.
Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor

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Main Office: PAT 125 Phone: (512) 471-7472

Alternate Office: PAT 119 Phone: (512) 471-1456

Mailing Address:
The University of Texas at Austin
Section of Integrative Biology
One University Station
Austin,Texas 78712


Research Summary:
My interests are ever changing but have included population and community ecology, evolutionary ecology, natural history of desert lizards, resource partitioning, reproductive tactics, foraging theory, allocation, design constraints, thermoregulation, metapopulations, historical accident and biogeography, species diversity, macrodescriptors, pseudocommunities, phylogenetic systematics, computer simulation of model systems, emergent properties of ecological systems, metapopulations, indirect interactions among populations, disturbance, succession, and landscape ecology. I have spent my life studying the evolutionary ecology of the second largest group of terrestrial vertebrates, lizards. I am the Denton A. Cooley Centennial Professor of Zoology at the University of Texas at Austin. My past and present research covers a broad range of topics pertaining to the ecology, biology and evolution of lizards. Some of my research was the subject of a PBS NOVA documentary “Lizard Kings”, also shown in Australia. My graduate students are autonomous scientists who not only obtain their own funding but also design, execute, and publish their own research (they also land academic positions at major universities -- about half of them are now tenured). They work on a wide range of projects, both theoretical and empirical, as well as on a diversity of organisms including ants, butterflies, eigenvalues, grasshoppers, protozoans, frogs, fish and lizard communities, as well as various species of birds. Currently, I am working on the fire succession cycle in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia and on phylogenetic systematic studies of Ctenotus skinks and varanid lizards. I am also tying up my life’s work preserving my massive data set for future generations of evolutionary ecologists.



Research Images:
Photo of Eric R. Pianka
Photo of Eric R. Pianka - Photo of Eric R. Pianka
The Lizard Man
The Lizard Man - Photo of Eric R. Pianka with a perentie in Australia
Prof Pianka
Prof Pianka - Eric R. Pianka
Pianka
Pianka - Eric R. Pianka

- Pensive ERP
Eric Pianka
Eric Pianka - in his office (1998)
Eric Pianka
Eric Pianka - with V. albigularis
Eric Pianka
Eric Pianka - Cooley Professor


Publications:
2014 Pianka, E. R., Rarity in Australian Desert Lizards, Austral Ecology 39: in press view
2013 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the ecology and natural history of the rarely recorded gekkonid lizard Heteronotia binoei in the Great Victoria desert of Western Australia, Western Australian Naturalist 29: 120-125
2013 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the natural history of the rarely recorded agamid lizard Caimanops amphiboluroides in Western Australia. Western , Western Australian Naturalist 29: 99-102
2013 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the ecology and natural history of two uncommon terrestrial agamid lizards Ctenophorus clayi and C. fordi in the Great Victoria desert of Western Australia. , Western Australian Naturalist 29: 85-93
2013 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the ecology and natural history of two uncommon arboreal agamid lizards Diporiphora paraconvergens and Lophognathus longirostris in the Great Victoria desert of Western Australia. , Western Australian Naturalist 29: 77-84
2013 Böhm, M. et al. , The conservation status of the world's reptiles, Biological Conservation 157: 372-385 view
2012 Pianka, E. R. , Can humans share spaceship earth? , Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 6: 1-24 view
2012 Pianka, E. R. and S. E. Goodyear., Lizard responses to wildfire in arid interior Australia: Long-term experimental data and commonalities with other studies , Austral Ecology 37: 1-11 view
2011 Pianka, E. R. and C. A. Harp, Notes on the natural history of Buchanan’s snake-eyed skink Cryptoblepharus buchananii in arid Western Australia , Western Australian Naturalist 28: 43-49
2011 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the ecology of some uncommon skinks in the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australian Naturalist 28: 50-60 view
2011 Goodyear, S. E. and E. R. Pianka. , Spatial and temporal variation in diets of sympatric lizards (genus Ctenotus) in the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia. , J. Herpetology 45: 265-271 view
2011 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the natural history of the tiny skink Menetia greyi , Western Australian Naturalist 28: 12-17
2010 Harp, C. A., S. E. Goodyear, and E. R. Pianka, Ctenotus helenae (Helen’s Comb-Eared Skink) Hermaphroditism, Herpetological Review 41: 353-354
2010 Pianka, E. R. , Notes on the ecology of four species of pygopodid lizards in the Great Victoria Desert , Western Australian Naturalist 27: 175-181 view
2008 Goodyear, S. E. and E. R Pianka, Sympatric Ecology of Five Species of Fossorial Snakes (Elapidae) in Western Australia , J. Herpetology 42: 279-285 view
2008 Costa, G. C., L. J. Vitt, E. R. Pianka, D. O. Mesquita and G. R. Colli. , Optimal foraging constrains macroecological patterns: Body size and dietary niche breadth in lizards. , Global Ecology and Biogeography 17: 670-677 view
2007 King, D. R. and E. R. Pianka, Ecology of the Pygmy Monitor Varanus brevicauda in Western Australia, Mertensiella 16: 304-311
2007 Pianka, E. R., An update on the Ecology of the Pygmy Monitor Varanus eremius in Western Australia, Mertensiella 16: 346-352
2007 Sweet, S. S. and E. R. Pianka., Monitors, mammals and Wallace's Line, Mertensiella 16: 79-99 view
2007 Huey, R. B. and E. R. Pianka., Lizard thermal biology: do genders differ? , American Naturalist 170: 473-478 view
2006 Vitt, L. J. and E. R. Pianka. , The Scaly Ones, Natural History. 115: 28-35 view
2005 Hibbitts, T. J., E. R. Pianka, R. B. Huey, and M. J. Whiting, Ecology of the Common Barking Gecko (Ptenopus garrulus) in southern Africa, J. Herpetology 39: 509-515 view
2005 Pianka, E. R. and S. S. Sweet., Integrative biology of sticky feet in geckos, BioEssays 27: 647-652 view
2005 Vitt, L. J. and E. R. Pianka., Deep history impacts present day ecology and biodiversity, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 102: 7877-7881 view
2003 Farlow, J. O. and E. R . Pianka., Body size overlap, habitat partitioning, and living-space requirements of terrestrial vertebrate predators: implications for large-theropod paleoecology, Historical Biology 16: 21-40
2003 Thompson, G. G., S. A. Thompson, P. C. Withers and E. R. Pianka., Diversity and abundance of pit-trapped reptiles of arid and mesic habitats in Australia: Biodiversity for Environmental Impact Assessments , Pacific Conservation Biology 9: 120-135
2003 Thompson, G. G., P. C. Withers, E. R. Pianka, and S. A. Thompson., Assessing biodiversity with species accumulation curves: Inventories of small reptiles by pit-trapping in Western Australia , Austral Ecology 38: 361-383
2003 Sweet, S. S. and E. R. Pianka., The Lizard Kings , Natural History 112: 40-45 view
2003 Jennings, W. B., E. R. Pianka, and S. Donnellan., Systematics of the lizard family Pygopodidae with implications for the diversification of Australian temperate biotas, Systematic Biology 52: 757-780 view
2003 Vitt, L. J., E. R. Pianka, W. E. Cooper, and K. Schwenk., History and the global ecology of squamate reptiles , American Naturalist 162: 44-60 view
2001 Thompson, G. G. and E. R. Pianka., Allometry of clutch and neonate sizes in monitor lizards (Varanidae: Varanus), Copeia 2001: 443-458 view
2001 Huey, R. B., E. R. Pianka, and L. J. Vitt., How often do lizards "run on empty?" , Ecology 82: 1-7 view
2001 Winemiller, K. O., E. R. Pianka, L. J. Vitt, and A Joern., Food web laws or niche theory? Six Independent Empirical Tests, American Naturalist 158: 193-199 view
2000 Haydon, D. T., J. K. Friar, and E. R. Pianka., Fire Driven Dynamic Mosaics in the Great Victoria Desert II: A spatial and temporal landscape model, Landscape Ecology 15: 407-423 view
2000 Haydon, D. T., J. K. Friar, and E. R. Pianka., Fire Driven Dynamic Mosaics in the Great Victoria Desert I: Fire Geometry, Landscape Ecology 16: 373-381 view
1999 Pearson, D. J., D. R. King, and E. R . Pianka, New localities for the western pygmy possum, Cercartetus concinnus. , Western Australian Naturalist 22: 205-207
1999 Haydon, D. T. and E. R. Pianka., Metapopulation theory, landscape models, and species diversity, EcoScience 6: 316-328 view
1998 Pianka, G. A., E. R. Pianka, and G. G. Thompson., Natural history of thorny devils Moloch horridus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in the Great Victoria desert, J. Royal Society of Western Australia 81: 183-190
1998 Pianka, E. R., D. M. Hillis, D. C. Cannatella, M. J. Ryan, and J. J. Wiens., Teaching Herpetology, Herpetologica 54: S3-S5
1997 Perry, G. and E. R. Pianka., Animal foraging: past, present and future, Trends in Ecology and Evolution 12: 360-364 view
1997 Couper, P. J. and E. R. Pianka., Synonymy of Ctenotus monticola Storr, 1981 and Ctenotus hypatia Ingram and Czechura, 1990, Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 42: 12
1996 Pianka, G. A., E. R. Pianka, and G. G. Thompson., Egg laying by thorny devils (Moloch horridus) under natural conditions in the Great Victoria desert, J. Roy. Soc. Western Australia 79: 195-197
1995 Pianka, E. R. , Evolution of body size: Varanid lizards as a model system, American Naturalist 146: 398-414 view
1994 Pianka, E. R. , Comparative ecology of Varanus in the Great Victoria desert, Australian Journal of Ecology 19: 395-408 view
1994 Haydon, D. T., B. I. Crother, and E. R. Pianka., New directions in biogeography? , Trends in Ecology and Evolution 9: 403-406 view
1990 Winemiller, K. O. and E. R. Pianka., Organization in natural assemblages of desert lizards and tropical fishes, Ecological Monographs 60: 27-55 view
1989 Pianka, E. R., Latitudinal gradients in species diversity, Trends in Ecology and Evolution 4: 223
1989 Pianka, E. R., The role of plants in evolutionary ecology, Evolutionary Trends in Plants 3: 75-80
1989 Pianka, E. R., Desert lizard diversity: additional comments and some data, American Naturalist 134: 344-364 view
1987 Pianka, E. R., The subtlety, complexity, and importance of population interactions when more than two species are involved, Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 60: 351-362 view
1985 Pianka, E. R., Ecological dynamics of Australian desert lizards: or, the L-area revisited, National Geographic Society Research Reports 18: 581-591
1985 Pianka, E. R., Some intercontinental comparisons of desert lizards, National Geographic Research 1: 490-504
1983 Huey, R. B., E. R. Pianka, and C. M. Cavalier, Ecology of Lizards in the Kalahari Desert, Africa, National Geographic Society Research Reports 16: 365-370
1982 Pianka, E. R. and W. F. Giles., Notes on the biology of two species of nocturnal skinks, Egernia inornata and Egernia striata, in the Great Victoria desert, Western Australian Naturalist 15: 44-49
1981 Ricklefs, R. E., D. Cochran, and E. R. Pianka., A morphological analysis of the structure of communities of lizards in desert habitats, Ecology 62: 1474-1483 view
1981 Huey, R. B. and E. R. Pianka., Ecological consequences of foraging mode, Ecology 62: 991-999 view
1980 Pianka, E. R., Guild structure in desert lizards, Oikos 35: 194-201 view
1980 Schall, J. J. and E. R. Pianka., Evolution of escape behavior diversity, American Naturalist 115: 551-566 view
1979 Schoener, T. W., R. B. Huey, and E. R. Pianka., A biogeographic extension of the compression hypothesis: Competitors in narrow sympatry, American Naturalist 113: 295-298 view
1978 Huey, R. B. and E. R. Pianka, Comparative ecology, niche segregation, and resource utilization among gekkonid lizards in the southern Kalahari, Copeia 1978: 691-701 view
1978 Schall, J. J. and E. R. Pianka., Geographical trends in numbers of species, Science 201: 679-686 view
1977 Schall, J. J. and E. R. Pianka, Species densities of reptiles and amphibians on the Iberian peninsula, Donana, Acta Vertebrata 4: 27-34 view
1977 Huey, R. B. and E. R. Pianka., Natural selection for juvenile lizards mimicking noxious beetles, Science 195: 201-203 view
1976 Pianka, E. R. , Natural selection of optimal reproductive tactics, American Zoologist 16: 775-784 view
1975 Pianka, E. R. and W. S. Parker., Age-specific reproductive tactics, American Naturalist 109: 453-464 view
1974 Pianka, E. R. , Niche overlap and diffuse competition, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 71: 2141-2145 view
1973 Pianka, E. R. , The structure of lizard communities, Ann. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 4: 53-74 view
1972 Pianka, E. R. , r and K selection or b and d selection?, American Naturalist 106: 581-588 view
1972 Pianka, E. R. , Zoogeography and speciation of Australian desert lizards: An ecological perspective, Copeia 1972: 127-145 view
1971 Pianka, E. R. , Lizard species density in the Kalahari desert, Ecology 52: 1024-1029 view
1970 Pianka, E. R., Notes on the biology of Varanus gouldi flavirufus, Western Australian Naturalist 11: 141-144
1970 Pianka, H. D. and E. R. Pianka, Bird censuses from desert localities in Western Australia, Emu 70: 17-22
1970 Pianka, E. R. and H. D. Pianka., The ecology of Moloch horridus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) in Western Australia. , Copeia 1970: 90-103 view
1970 Pianka, E. R. , On r and K selection, American Naturalist 104: 592-597 view
1969 Pianka, E. R. , Notes on the biology of Varanus caudolineatus and Varanus gilleni, Western Australian Naturalist 11: 76-82
1969 Pianka, E. R. , Sympatry of desert lizards (Ctenotus) in Western Australia, Ecology 50: 1012-1030 view
1969 Pianka, E. R. , Habitat specificity, speciation, and species density in Australian desert lizards, Ecology 50: 498-502 view
1968 Pianka, E. R. , Notes on the biology of Varanus eremius, Western Australian Naturalist 11: 39-44 view
1967 Pianka, E. R. , On lizard species diversity: North American flatland deserts, Ecology 48: 333-351 view
1966 Pianka, E. R. , Convexity, desert lizards, and spatial heterogeneity, Ecology 47: 1055-1059 view
1966 MacArthur, R. H. and E. R. Pianka., On optimal use of a patchy environment, American Naturalist 100: 603-609 view
1966 Pianka, E. R. , Latitudinal gradients in species diversity: A review of concepts, American Naturalist 100: 33-46 view