Employment / affiliations

Assistant Professor of Biology – September, 2013-present.  Birmingham-Southern College, Department of Biology.

Research Associate – July, 2010-present.  Mississippi Entomological Museum.

Post-doctoral Researcher with Jonathan Chase – 2003-2005.  Washington University in St. Louis, Department of Biology.

Post-doctoral Fellow with Anurag Agrawal – 2001-2003.  University of Toronto, Department of Botany.


Ph.D. Biology – 2001.  University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Dissertation title: The Ecological and Evolutionary Responses of Iris hexagona to Salinity Stress.  Advisor:  Susan Mopper.

M.Sc. Wildlife Ecology – 1996.  Utah State University.  Thesis title: Population Variability, Mean Size, and Extinction Risk.  Advisor:  Gary Belovsky.

B.Sc.  Fisheries and Wildlife – 1993.  Michigan State University.

B.A.  Philosophy – 1989.  Michigan State University.

Publications (underlined names are undergraduate co-authors)

Van Zandt, P. A., J. P. Tortorich, A. Bonds, G. Gentry, and R. L. Brown. 2014. A comparison of the moth communities of forested, glade, and urban habitats in Bibb and Jefferson Counties, Alabama. Southern Lepidopterists’ News 36(2):91-102. pdf

Adams, J. K., P. A. Van Zandt, T. Neal.  2013.  Dinumma deponens, Walker 1858 (Erebidae) is here to stay. News of the Lepidopterists’ Society 55(4):176-177. pdf

LeCroy, K. A., H. W. Shew, and P. A. Van Zandt.  2013.  Pollen presence on nocturnal moths in the Ketona dolomite glades of Bibb County, Alabama. Southern Lepidopterists’ News 35(3):136-142. pdf

Van Zandt, P. A., P. L. Freeman, and L. J. Davenport.  2013.  Sporadic destructive occurrence of convict caterpillars (Xanthopastis timais) on Cahaba lilies (Hymenocallis coronaria).  Southern Lepidopterists’ News 35(1):5-14. pdf

Proud, D. N., B. E. Felgenhauer, V. R. Townsend, Jr., D. O. Osula, W. O. Gilmore III, Z. L. Napier, P. A. Van Zandt.  2012.  Diversity and Habitat Use of Neotropical Harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones) in a Costa Rican Rainforest.  ISRN Zoology vol. 2012, Article ID 549765, 16 pages, doi:10.5402/2012/549765 (online).

Beaton, L. L., P. A. Van Zandt, E. J. Esselman, and T. M. Knight.  2011.   Comparison of the herbivore defense and competitive ability of ancestral and modern genotypes of an invasive plant, Lespedeza cuneata.  Oikos 120:1413-1419.

Gibbons, M. E., K. P. Farris, and P. A. Van Zandt.  2010.  Agalychnis callidryas (Red-eyed Treefrog) egg predation.  Herpetological Review 41(1):60-61.

Townsend, Jr., V.R., C. Víquez, P. A. Van Zandt, and D. N. Proud.  2010.  Key to the Cosmetidae (Arachnida, Opiliones) of Central America, with notes on penis morphology and sexual dimorphisms.  Zootaxa 2414:1-26.

Van Zandt, P. A.  2007.  Plant defense, growth rate, and habitat specialization: A comparative assessment of constitutive and induced resistance.  Ecology 88(8):1984-1993. pdf

Tobler, M., P. A. Van Zandt, K. H. Hasenstein, and S. Mopper.  2006.  Growth and reproduction of a clonal plant in response to salinity and florivory.  Wetlands 26(3):803-812.

Van Zandt, P. A., E. Collins, J. B. Losos, and J. M. Chase.  2005.  Implications of food web interactions for restoration of Missouri Ozark glade habitats.  Restoration Ecology 13(2):310-315.

Van Zandt, P. A., and A. A. Agrawal.  2004.  Community-wide impacts of herbivore-induced plant responses in milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).  Ecology 85(9):2616-2629. pdf

Van Zandt, P. A., and S. Mopper.  2004.  The influence of salinity and maternal environment on germination and growth in Iris hexagonaEvolutionary Ecology Research 6:813-832.

Van Zandt, P. A., and A. A. Agrawal.  2004.  Specificity of induced plant responses to specialist herbivores of the common milkweed Asclepias syriacaOikos 104:401-409. pdf

Agrawal, A. A., and P. A. Van Zandt.  2003.  Ecological play in the coevolutionary theater:  Genetic and environmental determinants of attack by a specialist weevil on milkweed.  Journal of Ecology 91:1049-1059.

Van Zandt, P. A., E. Mouton, M. A. Tobler, K. H. Hasenstein, and S. Mopper.  2003.  Positive and negative consequences of salinity stress for the growth and reproduction of the clonal plant, Iris hexagonaJournal of Ecology 91:837-846.

Van Zandt, P. A., V. R. Townsend, C. E. Carlton, M. Blackwell, and S. Mopper.  2003.  The lizard beetle Loberus impressus (Coleoptera, Languriidae) and its association with the seed capsules of Iris hexagonaColeopterist’s Bulletin 57:281-288.

Van Zandt, P. A., and S. Mopper. 2002.  Delayed and carryover effects of salinity on flowering in Iris hexagona (Iridaceae).  American Journal of Botany 89:1847-1851.

Agrawal, A. A., and P. A. Van Zandt.  2002.  The community ecology of live long and prosper.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17:62.

Belovsky, G. E., C. Mellison, C. Larsen, and P. A. Van Zandt.  2002.  How good are PVA models: testing their predictions with experimental data.  Quantitative validation of minimum viable population models:  experiments on demographic stochasticity, in: D. R. McCullough and S. Beissinger, eds., Population Viability Analysis: Assessing Models for Recovering Endangered Species. Island Press, Covelo, CA.

Mopper, S., K. Landau, and P. A. Van Zandt.  2000.  Evolution in small spaces: adaptive and stochastic structure in a wild leafminer population, pages 116 – 138 in T. Mousseau, B. Sinervo, and J. Endler, eds., Adaptive Genetic Variation in the Wild. Oxford University Press, New York.

Mopper, S., P. Stiling, K. Landau, D. Simberloff, and P. A. Van Zandt.  2000.  Spatiotemporal variation in leafminer population structure and adaptation to individual oak trees.  Ecology 81:1577-1587.

Carlton, C. E., V. R. Townsend, Jr., P. A. Van Zandt, and S. Mopper.  2000.  Description of the larva of Loberus impressus LeConte with notes on its natural history (Languriidae: Xenoscelinae).  Annals of the Entomological Society of America 93:356-361.

Belovsky, G. E., C. Mellison, C. Larsen, and P. Van Zandt.  1999.  Experimental studies of extinction dynamics.  Science 286:1175-1177.

Van Zandt, P. A. and S. Mopper.  1998.  A meta-analysis of adaptive deme formation in phytophagous insect populations.  The American Naturalist 152:597-606.

Gandon, S. and P. A. Van Zandt.  1998.  Local adaptation and host-parasite interactions.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 13:1-3.

Current projects

  • Landscape ecology of moths – assessing moth biodiversity as an indicator of forest community integrity akin to aquatic Indices of Biological Integrity (IBIs)
  • Anthropogenic influences on moth phenology – studying the influence of the urban heat island effect on the timing of moth emergence and activity patterns
  • Mutualisms and plant defense – using chemical and insect assays of Baptisia (wild indigo) species grown with and without N2 fixing bacteria to determine the role of mutualisms in defensive alkaloid chemistry

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