Thomas J. DeWitt

Associate Professor
Department of Ecology & Conservation Biology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-2258 USA

Fax (979) 845-4096, E-mail

   Ph.D. (Ecology, Evolution & Behavior) Binghamton University (SUNY), 1995
   M.A. (Ecology, Evolution & Behavior) Boston University, 1991
   Naturalist Ecologist Training Program, University of Michigan, 1990
   B.Sc. (Biology) Grand Valley State University, 1987

Research interests:
Ecological mechanisms of evolutionary differentiation, Ecomorphology, Phenotypic plasticity, Biometry and shape analysis, Quantitative and molecular genetics, Ecological and evolutionary theory

   Excel Biometry – WFSC 670
   Population Genetics – GENE 612
   Behavioral Ecology – WFSC 622
   Introduction to Bioenvironmental Science – BESC 201
   Water and Bioenvironmental Science – BESC 320
   Fish Ecophysiology – WFSC 448

Some recent undergraduate research posters:
      2015 BURS project - Briana
      2015 BURS project - Kaylee
      2015 BURS project - Chris

TJ DeWitt & SM Scheiner, Eds. (2004)
Phenotypic Plasticity. Functional and Conceptual Approaches Oxford University Press (ISBN 0195138961).
This book presents a conceptual overview of the large and flourishing field of phenotypic plasticity.
It covers the history, current practice and theory of the field and provide syntheses with related fields such as behavioral ecology, physiology, and coevolution.
[Read back cover] [Table of contents] [Chapter 1--FREE!]

Some research highlights:
   (1) Evolutionary diversification of fish body shape (see example poster)
    (2) Inducible defenses in snails with functionally diverse predators (detail)
    (3) Performance (functional ecology) studies with aquatic animals (example poster), amphibians (example poster), snails
    (4) Theoretical models of evolution in stochastic environments (detail)
    (5) Mating behavior of simultaneous hermaphrodites (cartoon)
    (6) Theoretical and geometric morphometrics

Favorite links!


Mays JR, DeWitt TJ, Dharampal P, Andrus CFT, Findlay RH (2021)
Frequent habitat migration, phenotypic plasticity, and residual ecophenotypy revealed by isotope-based natal habitat inference in bluegill sunfish, Lepomis macrochirus
Ecology and Evolution (in press)

DeWitt TJ, Fuentes JI, Ioerger TR, Bishop MP (2021)
Rectifying I: three point and continuous fit of the spatial autocorrelation metric, Moran’s I, to ideal form
Landscape Ecology [PDF] doi 10.1007/s10980-021-01256-0

Harrison K, Tarone A, DeWitt TJ, Medina R (2021)
Predicting the occurrence of host-associated differentiation in parasitic arthropods: A quantitative literature review
Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata (in press)

DeWitt TJ, McCarthy TM, Washick DL, Clark AB, Langerhans RB (2018)
Predator avoidance behaviour in response to turtles and its adaptive value in the freshwater snail Planorbella campanulata.
Journal of Molluscan Studies 84: 266-274

Chinchilla-Ramírez M, Borrego EJ, DeWitt TJ, Kolomiets MV, Bernal JS (2017)
Maize seedling morphology and defence hormone profiles, but not herbivory tolerance, were mediated by domestication and modern breeding.
Annals of Applied Biology 170: 315-32.

Bucksch A, Atta-Boateng A, ... DeWitt TJ, ... Chitwood DH (2017)
Morphological plant modeling: unleashing geometric and topological potential within the plant sciences
Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 900.

Smith HL, DeWitt TJ (2017)
The northern fluted point complex: technological and morphological evidence of adaptation and risk in the late Pleistocene-Early Holocene Arctic.
Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences. doi 10.1007/s12520-016-0335-y [PDF]

DeWitt TJ (2016)
Expanding the phenotypic plasticity paradigm to broader views of trait space and ecological function
Current Zoology [PDF] doi 10.1093/cz/zow085

Carlson KB, de Ruiter DJ, DeWitt TJ, McNulty K, Carlson K, Tafforeau P, Berger LR (2016)
Developmental simulation of the adult cranial morphology of Australopithecus sediba.
South African Journal of Science 112: 20160012. [open access] doi 10.17159/sajs.2016/20160012

Santamaria C, Mateos M, DeWitt TJ, Hurtado L (2016)
Constrained body shape among highly genetically divergent allopatric lineages of the supralittoral isopod Ligia occidentalis (Oniscidea).
Ecology and Evolution 10.1002/ece3 1984. [open access]

Timm-Davis LL, DeWitt TJ, Marshal CD (2015)
Divergent skull morphology supports two trophic specializations in otters (Lutrinae).
PLOS ONE 10(12):e014326. [open access]

Kim D, DeWitt TJ, Costa CSB, Kupfer JA, McEwan RW, Stallins JA (2015)
Beyond bivariate correlations: three-block partial least squares illustrated with vegetation, soil, and topography.
Ecosphere 6(8):art135. [open access]

Davis KM, Smith T, Bolt B, Meadows S, Powell JG, Vann RC, Arthington JD, DiLorenzo N, Lalman DL, Rouquette FM Jr., Hansen GR, Cooper AJ, Cloud JE, Garcia MD, Herring AD, Hale DS, Sanders JO, Hairgrove TB, DeWitt TJ, Riley DG (2015)
Digital quantification of eye pigmentation of cattle with white faces.
Journal of Animal Science 93: 3654-3660. [PDF]

Smith HL, Smallwood AM, DeWitt TJ (2014)
A geometric morphometric exploration of Clovis fluted point shape variability.
In: Smallwood AM, Jennings TA (Eds.), Clovis: On the Edge of a New Understanding, Texas A&M University Press.

Cope JL, Hammett AJM, Kolomiets EA, Forrest AK, Golub KW, Hollister EB, DeWitt TJ, Gentry TJ, Holtzapple MT, Wilkinson HH (2014)
Evaluating the performance of carboxylate platform fermentations across diverse inocula originating as sediments from extreme environments.
Bioresource Technology 155: 388–394. [PDF]

Brophy JK, de Ruiter DJ, Athreya S, DeWitt TJ (2014)
Quantitative morphological analysis of bovid teeth and implications for paleoenvironment reconstruction of Plovers Lake, Gauteng Province, South Africa.
Journal of Archaeological Science 41:376–388. [PDF]

Santamaria CA, Mateos M, Taiti S, DeWitt TJ, Hurtado LA (2013)
A complex evolutionary history in a remote archipelago: phylogeography and morphometrics of the Hawaiian endemic Ligia isopods.
PLOS ONE 8: e85199. [Open Access]
Data available at the Dryad Digital Repository [Data].

Dávila-Flores AM, DeWitt TJ, Bernal JS (2013)
Facilitated by nature and agriculture: performance of a specialist herbivore improves with host-plant life history evolution, domestication, and breeding.
Oecologia 173:1425-1437. [PDF]

De Ruiter DJ, DeWitt TJ, Carlson KB, Brophy JK, Schroeder L, Ackermann RR, Churchill SE, Berger LR (2013)
Mandibular remains support taxonomic validity of Australopithecus sediba.
Science 340:1232997. [PDF] SOM

Chaves-Campos J, Coghill LM, Al-Salamah MA, DeWitt TJ, Johnson SG (2012)
Field heritabilities and lack of correlation of snail shell form and antipredator function estimated using Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods.
Evolutionary Ecology Research 14:743–755. [PDF]

Langerhans RB, DeWitt TJ, Gifford ME, García-Bedoya D, Domínguez-Domínguez O (2012)
Gambusia quadruncus (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae): a new species of mosquitofish from east-central Mexico.
Journal of Fish Biology 81:1514-1539. [PDF]

Ginter CC, DeWitt TJ, Fish FE, Marshall CD (2012)
Fused traditional and geometric morphometrics demonstrate pinniped whisker diversity.
PloS One 7(4):e34481. [Open Access]

Ruehl CB, Shervette V, DeWitt TJ (2011)
Replicated shape variation between simple and complex habitats in two estuarine fishes.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103:147–158. [PDF]

Tobler M, DeWitt TJ, Schlupp I, García de León FJ, Herrmann R, Feulner PGD, Tiedemann R, Plath M (2008)
Toxic hydrogen sulfid and dark caves: Phenotypic and genetic divergence across two abiotic environmental gradients in Poecilia mexicana.
Evolution 62:2643-2658. [PDF]

Johnson JB, Burt DB, DeWitt TJ (2008)
Form, function, fitness—pathways to survival.
Evolution 62:1243-1251. [PDF] [2008 ASIH Poster]

McEachran JD, DeWitt TJ (2008)
A new livebearing fish, Heterandria tuxtlaensis, from Lake Catemaco, Veracruz, Mexico (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae).
Zootaxa 1824:45-54. [PDF]

Ruehl CB, DeWitt TJ (2007)
Trophic plastcity and foraging performance in red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus (Linnaeus).
Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology 349:284-294. [PDF]

Langerhans RB, Chapman LJ, DeWitt TJ (2007)
Multiple phenotypes, multiple environmental gradients: complex phenotype-environment associations in an East African cyprinid.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 20:1171–1181. [PDF] [2008 ASIH Poster]

Chapman LJ, DeWitt TJ, Tzaneva V, Paterson J (2007)
Interdemic variation in gill morphology of a eurytopic African cichlid.
Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium: Fish Physiology, Toxicology, and Water Quality.
EPA publication 600R07010:209-225. [PDF]

Dayton GH, Saenz D, Baum KA, Langerhans RB, DeWitt TJ (2005)
Body shape, burst speed and predator susceptibility of larval anurans.
Oikos 111:582-591. [PDF]

Langerhans RB, Layman CA, DeWitt TJ (2005)
Male genital size reflects a tradeoff between attracting mates and avoiding predators in two livebearing fish species.
Proceedings of the National Academies of Science USA 102:7618-7623. [PDF]

Ruehl CB, DeWitt TJ (2005)
Trophic plasticity and fine-grained resource variation in populations of western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis.
Evolutionary Ecology Research 7:801–819 [PDF]

Langerhans RB, Layman CA, Shokrollahi AM, DeWitt TJ (2004)
Predator-driven phenotypic diversification in Gambusia affinis.
Evolution 58:2305–2318. [PDF]

Langerhans RB, DeWitt TJ (2004)
Shared and unique features of evolutionary diversification.
American Naturalist 164:335-349. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Scheiner SM, Eds. (2004)
Phenotypic Plasticity. Functional and Conceptual Approaches. New York: Oxford University Press.
      Chapter 1: DeWitt TJ, Scheiner SM (2004) Phenotypic Variation From Single Genotypes: A Primer. [PDF]
      Chapter 7: DeWitt TJ, Langerhans RB (2004) Integrated solutions to environmental heterogeneity: Theory of multimoment reaction norms.
      Chapter 13: Scheiner SM, DeWitt TJ (2004) Future research directions.

Langerhans RB, Layman CA, Langerhans AK, DeWitt TJ (2003)
Opposite habitat-based divergence in two fishes within a tropical blackwater river.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 80:89-98. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Langerhans RB (2003)
Multiple prey traits, multiple predators: keys to understanding complex community dynamics.
Journal of Sea Research 49:143-155. [PDF]

Langerhans RB, DeWitt TJ (2002)
Plasticity constrained: Overgeneralized induction cues cause maladaptive phenotypes.
Evolutionary Ecology Research 4:857-870. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Robinson BW, Wilson DS (2000)
Functional diversity among predators of a freshwater snail imposes an adaptive tradeoff for shell morphology.
Evolutionary Ecology Research 2:129-148. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Sih A, Hucko JA (1999)
Trait compensation and cospecialization in a freshwater snail: Size, shape and antipredator behaviour.
Animal Behaviour 58:397-407. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Sih A, Wilson DS (1998)
Costs and limits of phenotypic plasticity.
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 13:77-81. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ, Yoshimura J (1998)
The fitness threshhold model: Random environmental change alters adaptive landscapes.
Evolutionary Ecology 12:615-626. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ (1998)
Costs and limits of phenotypic plasticity: Tests with predator-induced morphology and life history in a freshwater snail.
Journal of Evolutionary Biology 11:465-480. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ (1997)
Optimizing clutch size in birds. (Correspondence)
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 12:443. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ (1996)
Gender contests in a simultaneous hermaphrodite snail: A size-advantage model for behaviour.
Animal Behaviour 51:345-351. [PDF]

DeWitt TJ (1993)
Nest-site preference in male fathead minnows, Pimephales promelas.
Canadian Journal of Zoology 71:1276-1279.

DeWitt TJ (1991)
Mating behavior of the freshwater pulmonate snail, Physa gyrina.
American Malacological Bulletin 9:81-85.