Aquatic Ecology (freshwater and marine) with Specialization in Planktonic Systems; Emphases in Population Dynamics and Behavior, Physiology, Energetics and Life History Transitions with Dormancy
In addition to the above, I have strong developing interests in the neurobiology of aesthetics and the epistemology of art from the biological perspective. I also am planning a course and accompanying textbook for "non-science-majors" (i.e., almost all university students...) in science/biology education that emphasizes the core foundations of the life sciences in the context of student inquiry, quantitation, and the philosophical underpinnings of scientific methodology.
Zooplankton are the most abundant aquatic animals on earth, and are central players in both community function and the energetics of oceans, lakes and ponds – even those in the desert! My research focuses on aspects of zooplankton ecology and evolution, from feeding behavior and population dynamics to biogeography, physiological ecology and – most recently – life history ecological genomics.
Starkweather, P.L., M.R. Miracle, E. Vicente, A. Picazo and J. Vidal. (2005) Diel distribution and migration of Chaoborus flavicans: a field analysis using broadband Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) techniques. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 29:672-677.
Starkweather, P.L. (2005) Susceptibility of ephemeral pool Hexarthra to predation by the fairy shrimp Branchinecta mackini: can predation drive local extinction? Hydrobiologia 546:503-508.
Wallace, R.L., E.J. Walsh, M.L. Bonilla and P.L. Starkweather. (2005) Life on the edge: rotifers from springs and ephemeral waters in the Chihuahuan Desert, Big Bend National Park (Texas, USA). Hydrobiologia 546:147-157.
Starkweather, P.L., N. Vaskov and T.C. Ng. (2003) Population dynamics and life history patterns of branchiopod crustaceans in Mojave Desert ephemeral rock pools. Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol., 27:1-4.
Hampton, S.E. and P.L. Starkweather (1998) Differences in predation among morphotypes of the rotifer Asplanchna silvestrii. Freshwater Biology 40:595-605.
Grimm, N.B., A. Chacon, C.C. Dahm, O.T. Lind, P.L. Starkweather and W.W. Wursbaugh (1997) Sensitivity to climate change of aquatic ecosystems in the Basin and Range, American Southwest, and Mexico. Hydrologic Processes 11:1023-1041.
Starkweather, P. L. (1996) Sensory potential and feeding in rotifers: structural and behavioral aspects of diet selection in ciliated zooplankton. pp. 255-266. In: "Zooplankton sensory ecology and physiology", Lenz, P.H., D.K. Hartline, J.E. Purcell and D.L. Macmillan (eds.). Gordon and Breach Publishers.