- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the journal, published by the International Society for Behavior Ecology, the editors chose the most influential articles and reviews, and compiled them in a celebratory Virtual Issue.
Carroll's paper on the ecology and genetics of adaptive differences among soapberry bug populations in the plasticity of mating behavior, was not only selected as the most influential paper, but his photograph of the bugs at his study site, the Florida Keys, graced the cover.
Editor-in-chief Leigh Simmons of the Center for Evolutionary Biology, University of Western Australia, described Carroll's work as "a beautiful study of divergence in phenotypic plasticity in mate guarding in these creatures."
The research paper is titled Divergence in Male Mating Tactics between Two Populations of the Soapberry Bug: II. Genetic Change and the Evolution of a Plastic Reaction Norm in a Variable Social Environment.
Carroll conducted the research as part of his dissertation at the University of Utah, under professor Eric Charnov. He co-authored the paper while a post-doctoral scholar in the laboratory of Hugh Dingle, UC Davis Department of Entomology (now the Department of Entomology and Nematology). His co-author, Patrice Corneli, now an associate research professor in the Department of Biology, University of Utah, analyzed aspects of the data for her master's thesis in statistics, also awarded at the University of Utah.
As the director of the Institute for Contemporary Evolution, Carroll does research on patterns of ongoing evolution in wild and anthropogenic environments. His studies on evolutionary changes in soapberry bugs in response to plant introductions are seminal contributions to our understanding of diversification.
The UC Davis evolutionary ecologist is the co-editor of the book, Conservation Biology: Evolution in Action (Oxford University Press, 2008) with Charles Fox, professor of insect genetics, behavior and evolutionary ecology, University of Kentucky.
Highly recognized for his work, Carroll co-authored a research paper that was selected in 2013 as one of the top 100 most influential papers ever published in the worldwide British Ecological Society, headquartered in London. The 13-page article, “Adaptive Versus Non-Adaptive Phenotypic Plasticity and the Potential for Contemporary Adaptation in New Environments,” was published in April 2007 (Volume 21) in the society's journal, Functional Ecology.
Scott received his bachelor's degree in ecology and behavioral ecology, magna cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1981, and then went on the earn his maser's degree in zoology, with distinction, from the University of Oklahoma in 1983 before receiving his doctorate in biology in 1990 from the University of Utah.