K-State Division of Biology

Alice Boyle

Alice Boyle

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. 2006, University of Arizona. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Behavioral, evolutionary, & physiological ecology; basic and applied
ornithology; life history and migration


307 Ackert Hall
Office phone: (785) 532-1701
Lab Phone: (785) 532-6413

Please visit my webpage for more information:

Research Focus

My research investigates large-scale questions regarding the ecological factors shaping animal migrations and life-history in both tropical and temperate biomes.  My work is centered at the population level, but I explore the causes and implications of vertebrate behaviors at the community level, and draw heavily from the physiological ecology toolbox to understand underlying mechanisms for ecological patterns.  Much of my research has focused on understanding the costs and benefits of avian migratory movements with my recent work pointing to a strong role for climate variation, a finding with major implications for the conservation of migratory animals in the face of changing climatic regimes.  I combine a strong field-based research program with an array of laboratory and analytical methods to address questions of fundamental importance to both basic and applied branches of wildlife ecology.

Selected Research Publications

Boyle, W. A. and J. L. Bronstein. 2012.  Phenology of tropical understory trees: patterns and correlates. Revista de Biología Tropical 60, 1415-1430.

Boyle, W. A., D. W. Winkler, and C. G. Guglielmo. 2012. Rapid loss of fat but not lean mass prior to chick provisioning supports the flight efficiency hypothesis in Tree Swallows. Functional Ecology 26, 895-903.

Boyle, W. A. 2011. Short-distance partial migration of Neotropical birds: a community-level test of the foraging limitation hypothesis. Oikos, 120 1803-1816.

Boyle, W. A., C. G. Guglielmo, K. A. Hobson, and D. R. Norris. 2011. Lekking birds in a tropical forest forego sex for migration. Biology Letters 7, 661-663.

Boyle, W. A., C. J. Conway, J. L. Bronstein. 2011. Why do some, but not all, birds migrate? A comparative study of diet breadth and fruit preference Evolutionary Ecology 25, 219-236.

Boyle, W. A., D. R. Norris, and C. G. Guglielmo. 2010. Storms drive altitudinal migration in a tropical bird. Proceedings of the Royal Society-B 277, 2511-2519.

Sol, D., N. Garcia, A. Iwaniuk, K. Davis, A. Meade, W. A. Boyle, and T. Székely. 2010. Evolutionary divergence in brain size between migratory and resident birds. PLoS One 5, e9617.

Boyle, W. A., 2010. Does food abundance explain altitudinal migration in a tropical frugivorous bird? Canadian Journal of Zoology 88, 204-213.

Lumpkin, H. and W. A. Boyle. 2009. Effects of forest age on fruit composition and removal in tropical bird-dispersed understorey trees. Journal of Tropical Ecology 25, 515-522.

Boyle, W. A. 2009. How to keep tropical montane frugivorous birds in captivity. Ornitología Neotropical, 20, 265-273.

Boyle, W. A. 2008. Partial migration in birds: an evaluation of three hypotheses in a tropical lekking frugivore. Journal of Animal Ecology, 77, 1122-1128.

Boyle, W. A., 2008. Can variation in risk of nest predation explain altitudinal migration in tropical birds? Oecologia 154, 397-403.

Boyle, W. A., C. N. Ganong, D. B. Clark, & M. A. Hast. 2008. Density, distribution, and attributes of tree cavities in an old-growth tropical rain forest. Biotropica 40(2), 241-245.

Boyle, W. A. and C. J. Conway. 2007. Why migrate? A test of the evolutionary precursor hypothesisAmerican Naturalist 169, 344-359.

Holland, J. N., J. H. Ness, W. A. Boyle, and J. L. Bronstein. 2005. Mutualisms as consumer-resource interactions. Pages 17-33 in P. Barbosa and I. Castellanos, editors. Ecology of Predator-Prey Interactions, Oxford University Press, Oxford, England.


HomePeopleAcademicsResearchMake a GiftContact Us

©2007 Division of Biology, Kansas State University SiteMap