Faculty Profile: Jonathan Waage, PHD

Jonathan Waage
Jonathan Waage, PHD
Professor of Biology
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Work: +1 401-863-2466
I have focused on the evolutionary and ecological determinants of reproductive behavior in damselflies and dragonflies. I have studied the adaptive patterns of pair-forming, territorial, mating and postcopulatory behavior.

Both sexes contribute DNA to offspring, but females often make additional contributions that differentially influence the success of their offspring. I been exploring the origins and consequences of these asymmetric influences over reproduction by females.

Institutions

Bu

Research Description

I have focused on the evolutionary and ecological determinants of reproductive behavior in damselflies and dragonflies. I have studied the adaptive patterns of pair-forming, territorial, mating and postcopulatory behavior.

Both sexes contribute DNA to offspring, but females often make additional contributions that differentially influence the success of their offspring. I been exploring the origins and consequences of these asymmetric influences over reproduction by females.

Grants and Awards

1994: Elizabeth H. Leduc Award for Excellence in Teaching, Brown University
2000: Harriet W. Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning

Affiliations

American Society of Naturalists (elected member)
Society for the Study of Evolution
Animal Behaviour Society
International Society for Behavioral Ecology

Funded Research

1984-1987: NSF BSR 8400171 - "Behavioral ecology of odonates"
1985-1986: BSRG RR07085-21 - Video equipment purchase - with Morse and Bertness
1987-1990: NSF BNS 87-09788 - "Behavioral ecology of odonates"
1991-1992: BSRG RR07085-26 - "Assessment during damselfly territorial disputes"
1994: Forschungs-stipendium, Arbeitsgruppe Dr. N. Michiels, Max-Planck Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie - June through November
1995: DAAD - German Academic Exchange Program - 3-Month Study Visit Grant
1996: Brown Small Grants Program - Field work support

Teaching Grant Support (Since 1985)
1993: Salomon Grant - Brown University - for purchase of films for animal behavior course
1994-1995: Brown University Teaching Award - research stipend
1998: Wriston Grant Proposal, Brown University – for new course on the Nature of Adaptation (Biomed 19.3)

Teaching Experience

I design my courses around a particular view of science and science education:

A. Rather than obtaining a solid background in facts and methodology before students start doing science on their own, I feel they should start doing science while accumulating the factual and procedural background. Facts and vocabulary are absolutely essential. However, they make more sense and are retained better if you start using them and discovering some of them yourself. Self-discovery is facilitated using course journals, homework assignments and essays.

B. Science (like all human endeavor) cannot be totally objective (free of bias). That bias comes from one's gender, culture, experience with biology, and personal value system. How we view the causal connections among things depends on our perspective. A good scientist must learn to recognize and deal with bias. Those who can look or think from several perspectives usually get further than those who are locked into just one perspective.

C. Biology is often taught as a set of disciplines (genetics, morphology, biochemistry, cell biology, etc.) that reflect "levels of organization" with chemicals at one end, cells and organisms sort of in the middle, and ecosystems at the other end. These are historical and conceptual artifacts, invented to deal with the complexity of biology. Life is a good deal less orderly. Learning to deal with that non-linearity and complexity is essential.

D. Science does not follow a simple "true/false" path to the answer. Rarely is "it is either A or B" true; especially in holistic fields like behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. Usually the answer is: "Whether it is A, B, both, or neither depends on...". We live in an age where there is a vast amount of information to and the more we learn, the less obvious everything gets. I present science as a slowly evolving understanding of how little we know about the real world. I encourage an objective and skeptical (but not cynical) attitude toward the basic 'way of thinking' presented in my courses.

Courses Taught

  • Animal Behavior (bi0045)
  • Behavioral Ecology (bi0140)

Selected Publications

  • Fincke, O. M., J. K. Waage & W. D. Koenig. 1997 Natural and Sexual Selection Components of Odonate Mating Systems. In, J. Choe and B.J. Crespi (Eds.) The Evolution of Mating Systems in Insects and Arachnids. Cambridge University Press (1997)
  • Waage, J. K. & P. A. Gowaty. 1997. Myths of Genetic Determinism. In, P.A. Gowaty (ed.) Feminism and Evolutionary Biology: Boundaries, Intersections and Frontiers. Chapman & Hall, pp. 585-613. (1997)
  • Waage, J. K. 1997. Parental Investment -- Minding the kids or keeping control? In, P.A. Gowaty (ed.) Feminism and Evolutionary Biology: Boundaries, Intersections and Frontiers. Chapman & Hall, pp. 527-553 (1997)
  • Marden, J. H. & J. K. Waage. 1990. Escalated damselfly territorial contests are energetic wars of attrition. Anim. Behav. 39:954-959. (1990)
  • Waage, J. K. 1988. Reproductive behaviour of the damselfly Calopteryx dimidiata Burm. (Odonata: Calopterygidae). Odonatologica 17:365-378. (1988)
  • Waage, J. K. 1988. Confusion over residency and the escalation of damselfly territorial disputes. Anim. Behav. 36:586-595 (1988)
  • Waage, J. K. 1987. Choice and utilization of oviposition sites by female Calopteryx maculata (Odonata: Calopterygidae). I. Influence of site size and the presence of other females. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 20:439-446. (1987)
  • Oppenheimer, S. D. and J. K. Waage. 1987. Hand-pairing: a new technique for obtaining copulations within and between Calopteryx species (Zygoptera: Calopterygidae). Odonatologica 16:291-296. (1987)
  • Waage, J. K. 1986. Sperm displacement by two libellulid dragonflies with disparate copulation durations (Anisoptera). Odonatologica 15(4): 429-444. (1986)
  • Waage, J. K. 1986. Evidence for widespread sperm displacement ability among Zygoptera (Odonata) and the means for predicting its existence. .Biol. J. Linean Soc.. 28:285-300. (1986)
  • Waage, J. K & J. M. Bergelson. 1985. Differential use of pin and black cherry by the eastern tent caterpillar Malacosoma americanum (Fab.) (Lepidoptera: Lasiocampidae).Amer. Midl. Natur. 113:45-56. (1985)
  • Waage, J. K. 1984. Sperm competition and the evolution of odonate mating systems. In R.L. Smith (ed.) Sperm Competition and the Evolution of Animal Mating Systems. Academic Press, New York 8: 251-290. (1984)
  • Waage, J. K. 1984. Influence of oviposition behavior on female and male responses during courtship in Calopteryx maculata and C. dimidiata (Odonata: Calopterygidae). Anim. Behav. 32:400-404. (1984)
  • Waage, J. K. 1983. Sexual selection, ESS theory and insect behavior: Some examples from damselflies (Odonata). Fla. Entomol. 66:19-31. (1983)
  • Waage, J. K. 1982. Sperm displacement by male Lestes vigilax Hagen (Zygoptera: Lestidae). Odonatologica. 11:201-209. (1982)
  • Waage, J. K. 1980. Adult sex ratios and female reproductive potential in Calopteryx (Zygoptera: Calopterygidae). Odonatologica. 9:217-230. (1980)
  • Waage, J. K. 1979. Dual function of the damselfly penis: sperm removal and transfer. Science. 203:916-918. (1979)
  • Waage, J. K. 1979. Adaptive significance of postcopulatory guarding of mates and nonmates by male Calopteryx maculata (Odonata). Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 6:147-154. (1979)
  • Waage, J. K. 1979. Reproductive character displacement in Calopteryx (Odonata: Calopterygidae). Evolution. 33:104-116. (1979)
  • Waage, J. K. 1978. Oviposition duration and egg deposition rates in Calopteryx maculata. Odonatologica. 7:77-88. (1978)
  • Waage, J. K. 1975. Reproductive isolation and the potential for character displacement in the damselflies, Calopteryx maculata and C. aequabilis (Odonata: Calopterygidae). Syst. Zool. 24:24-36. (1975)
  • Waage, J. K. 1973. Reproductive behaviour and its relation to territoriality in Calopteryx maculata (Beauvois) (Odonata; Calopterygidae). Behaviour. 47:240-256. (1973)
  • Waage, J. K. 1972. Longevity and mobility of adult Calopteryx maculata. Odonatologica. 1:155-162. (1972)