Carlos A. Botero, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology Program

  • 314-935-4711

  • 314-935-8033



  • Exploring how variable and unpredictable conditions affect eco-evolutionary processes

Research Abstract:

At the Botero Laboratory we use a diverse set of tools from ecology and evolutionary biology to explore how variable and unpredictable conditions affect eco-evolutionary processes. Through theoretical modeling, experimental evolution, and large scale comparative studies, we seek a better understanding of general principles in biology and attempt to illuminate the mechanisms that drive them in organisms ranging from bacteria to man.

Mentorship and Commitment to Diversity Statement:
I appreciate and value students from any background and work with them to create a welcoming space for everyone in my lab. I understand that each person is different and therefore my approach to mentoring tends to be tailored to individual needs/skills. My goal as a mentor is to help each person discover their passion, develop their professional skills and expand their network so that they are well prepared for whatever they want to accomplish after leaving our group. My preferred working style is highly collaborative and interactive, and I tend to promote joint research efforts among the members of my lab in order to create a sense of community and shared investment. Throughout my career, I have also made a consistent effort to train women and under-represented minorities in science, having for example volunteered for after-school programs for African American and Latino kids (SALSA: Seeing and Learning Science After school) and served in diversity panels at the meetings of the Society for the Study of Evolution (2010) and the Society for the Advancement of Hispanics, Chicanos, & Native Americans in Science (2011). As a professor, I have been a guest speaker for the Graduate Association of Latin American Students at Washington University, and have hired/mentored three Hispanic/Latinx and two female postdocs. I have also tried to improve my effectiveness as an advocate and an ally of different communities by attending training workshops on topics like Safe Spaces, the Green Dot Bystander Intervention Program (prevention of sexual assault), Implicit Bias, White Privilege (“Witnessing Whiteness”), Learning Styles in Higher Education, and Disability Accommodations among others. I strive to incorporate these lessons in my daily life as a Latinx role model, and in the way I teach and interact with students. I also try to foster an environment of inclusiveness and respect in all the communities I belong to (university, classroom, and my lab) through the use of preferred names/pronouns, correct name pronunciation, and positive language.

Selected Publications:

Kavanagh PH, Vilela B, Haynie HJ, Tuff T, Lima-Ribeiro M, Gray RD, Botero CA* and MC Gavin*. 2018. Hindcasting global population densities reveals forces enabling the origin of agriculture. Nature Human Behavior. doi: 10.1038/s41562-018-0358-8. (* co-senior authors, equal contribution)

Fristoe T, Iwaniuk A, and CA Botero. 2017. Big brains stabilize population dynamics in birds. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1(11):1706–1715. doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0316-2.

Griesser M, SM Drobniak, S Nakagawa and CA Botero. 2017. Family living sets the stage for cooperative breeding and ecological resilience in birds. PLoS Biology 15(6): e2000483. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000483

Cooney CR, JA Tobias, JT Weir, CA Botero & N Seddon. 2017. Sexual selection and the cycle of speciation: plumage dichromatism predicts rates of secondary sympatry but not speciation rates in birds. Ecology Letters. doi:10.1111/ele.12780

Cornwallis, CK, CA Botero, DR Rubenstein, PA Downing, SA West & AS Griffin. 2017. Cooperation facilitates the colonisation of harsh environments. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 0057. DOI 10.1038/s41559-016-0057.

Sheehan MJ, CA Botero, TA Hendry, BE Sedio, JM Jandt, S Weiner, AL Toth and EA Tibbetts. 2015. Different axes of environmental variation explain the presence vs. extent of cooperative nest founding associations in Polistes paper wasps. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/ele.12488.

Botero CA, FJ Weissing, J Wright, and DR Rubenstein. 2015. Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 112(1): 184-189.

Botero CA, Gardner B, Kirby KR, Bulbulia J, Gavin MC and R Gray. 2014. The ecology of religious beliefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 111(47) 16784-16789.

Last Updated: 3/26/2021 12:41:59 PM

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