Assistant Curator, Birds
Dr. Chase D. Mendenhall is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist with degrees from the University of Wyoming and Stanford University. Mendenhall’s research emphasizes the role cooperation plays in the natural world to create cells, build bodies, and determine behaviors that challenge traditional narratives of what it means to be an individual, a male, a female, or part of a family or group. Using novel mathematical frameworks, Mendenhall incorporates altruism and cooperation into existing theories of natural selection. His research uses cooperative behavior birds evolve to successfully raise offspring to empirically test hypotheses.
Mendenhall is also an expert on extinctions, especially how they play out differently on islands compared to mainland continents. Some of his research has examined the benefits of colonization and extinctions in different places. For example, bees and birds colonizing a countryside can pollinate crops and eat pests. Conversely, rat, cat and some insect extinctions on oceanic archipelagos rescues rare ecosystems and benefits the people.
Recent Blog Posts
- Thomas Robert Malthus penned an essay on population growth in 1798 that mathematically demonstrated the relationship between food and human population. Malthus argued that whenever food supply increases, population rapidly grows to eliminate …Read More »
- Darwin once predicted the existence of a pollinator after examining the star-shaped flower of the orchid Angraecum sesquipedale, a flower whose nectar is at the end of a 30 cm tube. Darwin wrote …Read More »
- Exclamations like this are common among bird biologists, especially when face-to-face with a Pileated Woodpecker or a ferocious Chickadee. Decades of Jurassic Park films have caught us in a tautological trap where birds remind …Read More »
Mendenhall, CD, DS Karp, CFJ Meyer, EA Hadly and GC Daily. 2014. Predicting biodiversity change and averting collapse in agricultural landscapes. Nature 509: 213-217. PDF
CD Mendenhall, A Shields-Estrada, A Krishnaswami and GC Daily. (2016). Quantifying and sustaining biodiversity on tropical agricultural lands. PNAS PDF
Mendenhall, CD, LO Frishkoff, G Santos-Barrera, J Pacheco, E Mesfun, F Mendoza Quijano, PR Ehrlich, G Ceballos, GC Daily and RM Pringle. 2014. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians. Ecology 95: 856-870. PDF
Karp, DS, CD Mendenhall, R Figueroa Sandí, N Chaumont, PR Ehrlich, EA Hadly and GC Daily. 2013. Forest bolsters birds, pest control, and coffee yield. Ecology Letters 16: 1339-1347. PDF
Gould, RK, L Pejchar, SG Bothwell, B Brosi, S Wolny, CD Mendenhall and GC Daily. 2013. Forest restoration and parasitoid wasp communities in montane Hawai’i. PLoS One 8: e59356. PDF