Daniel Papaj


Office Location: BSW 514
Lab Location: BSW 507


Positions and Education: 

  • Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2005-present
  • Joint Appointments, UA in Entomology, Neuroscience and Psychology 
  • Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1997-2005
  • Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 1990-1997
  • Center for Insect Science Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arizona, 1989-1990
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Entomology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 1987-1989
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Ecology and Systematics, Cornell University, 1987
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Entomology, Unviersity of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1984-1987
  • Ph.D., Zoology, Duke University, 1984
  • B.S., Biology, Cornell University, 1978

Honors and Awards: 

  • 2015, elected Fellow of the Animal Behaviour Society 
  • 2014, nominated for Penny Bernstein Distinguished Teaching Award of the Animal Behavior Society. 
  • 2010, awarded College of Science Distinguished Teaching Career Award 
  • 2003, awarded College of Science Distinguished Teaching Award 
  • 1998, awarded Fulbright Fellowship, host country Thailand 
  • 1998, awarded Bellagio Center Residency, Rockefeller Foundation 

Editorial Work: 

  • Editor, Behavioral Ecology (current) 
  • Editor, Journal of Insect Behavior (current) 
  • Editor, Journal of Insect Science 
  • Editor, Animal Behaviour 

Research Interests: 

The Papaj Laboratory studies the behavioral ecology of insects in the context of coevolved interactions. We are particularly interested in how the flexibility of an animal's behavior or physiology permits it to maintain high performance in a variety of environments. Plant-insect interactions are our primary focus, including plant-herbivore and currently plant-pollinator interactions. Within this species interaction context, research topics addressed in our laboratory are diverse, as reflected in a list of keywords that describe recent work: learning and specialization, visual ecology, phenotypic plasticity, signal detection theory, speed-accuracy tradeoffs, ovarian dynamics, costs of plasticity (costs of learning), multimodal communication, mimicry and warning coloration, coevolution, cognitive ecology, and social information use.

Selected Publications: 

  1. Russell, A.L., S.J. Morrison, E.L. Moschonas and D.R. Papaj. 2017. Patterns of pollen and nectar foraging specialization by bumblebees over multiple timescales using RFID. Nature, Scientific Reports, open access.  
  2. Papaj, D.R., S.L. Buchmann and A.L. Russell. 2017. Division of labor of anthers in heterantherous plants: Flexibility of bee pollen collection behavior can act to keep plants honest. Arthropod-Plant Interactions, online access. 
  3. Dunlap A.S., M.E. Nielsen, A. Dornhaus, and D.R. Papaj. 2016. Foraging bumble bees weigh the reliability of personal and social information. Current Biology 26: 1195-1199 
  4. Russell A.L., R.E. Golden, A.S. Leonard, and D.R. Papaj. 2016. Bees learn preferences for plant species that offer only pollen as a reward. Behavioral Ecology 27: 731-740. 
  5. Muth, F., D.R. Papaj and A.S. Leonard. 2015. Colour learning when foraging for nectar and pollen: Bees learn two colours at once. Biology Letters 11: 20150628.