Dylan J. MacArthur-Waltz

About me

I grew up in Missoula, MT, where I became interested in the field of ecology in high school. I helped develop a research project on Steller’s jay alarm calling and predator avoidance that sparked my passion for ecology as a way to understand the natural world. As an undergraduate, I attended Stanford University, where I majored in ecology and evolutionary biology. At Stanford, I researched resource partitioning in a native California ant community, drought and pollinator network structure in the Colorado Rockies, and bird biodiversity and ecotourism in Costa Rica. After graduating I spent a year as a lab technician at Princeton University working on a project connecting rapid evolution to coexistence in two fruit fly species. I am looking forward to joining the Population Biology Graduate Group to further develop my research interests surrounded by an integrative and collaborative ecology community. Outside of my research interests, I enjoy recreating outdoors, cooking and baking, and social dance.


I am broadly interested in how climate change is altering interactions between different species, as a result of phenological shifts, temperature extremes, or changes in precipitation. In particular, I’m interested in how changes in specific species interactions may lead to changes in community composition, or community interaction networks. In addition to community-level effects of climate-altered species interactions, I’m curious to understand both the proximate physiological mechanisms of these altered interactions, and the broader implications for ecosystem processes that may result. I am particularly excited to ask these questions in plant-pollinator and plant-herbivore systems, especially plant-insect systems where the answers to these questions may have direct conservation and/or economic implications.


Department of Entomology and Nematology
Briggs Hall 380K
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616 USA



2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP)


MacArthur-Waltz, D. J., R. A. Nelson, G. Lee, and D. M. Gordon. 2021. Tree Preference and Temporal Activity Patterns for a Native Ant Community in an Urbanized California Woodland. Journal of Insect Behavior. link

Yang, L. H., E. G. Postema, T. E. Hayes, M. K. Lippey, and D. J. MacArthur-Waltz. 2021. The complexity of global change and its effects on insects. Current Opinion in Insect Science. link

Billings, A.C., E. Greene, D. MacArthur-Waltz. 2017. Steller’s jays assess and communicate about predator risk using detection cues and identity. Behavioral Ecology. 28(3): 776-783; link

Burford, B. P., G. Lee, D. A. Friedman, E. Brachmann, R. Kahn, D. J. MacArthur-Waltz, A. D. McCarty, D. M. Gordon. 2018. Foraging behavior and locomotion of the invasive Argentine ant from winter aggregations. PLOS One. 13(8): e0202117 link

…more to come