Colton Watts

Ph.D. Candidate

School of Biological Sciences
Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior


  • M.S.  Magna Cum Laude, Biology, East Tennessee State University (2014)
  • B.S.  Biology, East Tennessee State University (2012)

Research Interest

My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of behavior and life history decisions, with an emphasis on combining empirical methods and mathematical modeling to bridge the gap between case studies and generalizable biological principles. Using this approach, I’ve tackled a range of questions including the evolution of daily rhythms, sexual conflict, and optimal life history strategies. My current research focuses on the causes of variation in mate choice behavior and its consequences for intraspecific divergence in sexual signals. To that end, I’ve explored the role of contemporary patterns of mate choice in explaining among-population variation in male displays and developed a line of theoretical work aimed at resolving the resilience of mate choice behavior to demographic variation.

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