Since his dissertation work at the Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Pr Mc Peek has been exploring the ecological and evolutionary processes that have shaped the communities of orIganisms inhabiting freshwater ponds and lakes. He originally chose to work on this system because characteristic assemblages of organisms exist in different pond and lake types, and patterns of species associations are repeatable across space and through time. He has focused much of his work on the Coenagrionidae damselflies because this diverse group of closely related species displays a fascinating distribution pattern among these ponds and lakes. One set of species in the genus Enallagma is found as larvae only in ponds and lakes that also support fish as the top predator, while the remaining Enallagma species are found as larvae only in ponds and lakes that do not support fish populations but do support large dragonflies as the top predators. In contrast to Enallagma, larvae of Ischnura species thrive in both lake types. His research explores the mechanisms generating such distributional patterns from three different perspectives: (1) the food web structure that maintains these patterns today, (2) the microevolutionary processes that have shaped the abilities of species to engage in interactions with other members of the food webs and with their abiotic environment, and (3) the macroevolutionary processes that generated these assemblages of species.
Awards and Honors : 1999 George Mercer Award (Ecological Society of America) for his 1998 paper, “The consequences of changing the top predator in a food web: a comparative experimental approach,” which appeared in Ecological Monographs 68:1–23.
Selected Publications : McPeek, M. A., B. L. Cook, and W. C. McComb. 1983. Habitat selection by small mammals in an urban woodlot. Transactions of the Kentucky Academy of Sciences 44:68-73.
Sih, A., P. Crowley, M. McPeek, J. Petranka, and K. Strohmeier. 1985. Predation, competition, and prey communities: A review of field experiments. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 16:269-311.
McPeek, M. A., and P. H. Crowley. 1987. The effects of density and relative size on the aggressive behaviour, movement and feeding of damselfly larvae (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Animal Behaviour 35:1051-1061.
Kohler, S. L., and M. A. McPeek. 1989. Predation risk and the foraging behavior of competing stream insects. Ecology 70:1811-1825.
McPeek, M. A. 1989. Differential dispersal tendencies among Enallagma damselflies (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) inhabiting different habitats. Oikos 56:187-195.
McPeek, M. A. 1990. Determination of species composition in the Enallagma damselfly assemblages of permanent lakes. Ecology 71:83-98.
McPeek, M. A. 1990. Behavioral differences between Enallagma species (Odonata) influencing differential vulnerability to predators. Ecology 71:1714-1726.
McPeek, M. A. 1992. Mechanisms of sexual selection operating on body size in the mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki). Behavioral Ecology 3:1-12.
Kalisz, S., and M. A. McPeek. 1992. The demography of an age-structured annual: Resampled projection matrices, elasticity analyses, and seed bank effects. Ecology 73:1082-1093.
McPeek, M. A., and R. D. Holt. 1992. The evolution of dispersal in spatially and temporally varying environments. American Naturalist 140:1010-1027.
McPeek, M. A., and S. Kalisz. 1993. Sampling and bootstrapping in complex designs: Demographic analyses. In (S. M. Scheiner and J. Gurevitch, eds.) Design and Analysis of Ecological Experiments, pp. 232-252. Chapman Hall, Inc., New York.
Kalisz, S., and M. A. McPeek. 1993. Extinction dynamics, population growth and seed banks: An example using an age-structured annual. Oecologia 95:314-320.
Werner, E. E., and M. A. McPeek. 1994. The roles of direct and indirect effects on the distributions of two frog species along an environmental gradient. Ecology 75:1368-1382.
McPeek, M. A. 1995. Testing hypotheses about evolutionary change on single branches of a phylogeny using evolutionary contrasts. American Naturalist 145:686-703.
McPeek, M. A. 1995. Morphological evolution mediated by behavior in the damselflies of two communities. Evolution 49:749-769.
Davis, C. R., M. A. McPeek, and C. R. McClung. 1995. Molecular characterization of the proline-1 (pro-1) locus of Neurospora crassa, which encodes 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase. Molecular and General Genetics 248:341-350.
Werner, E. E., G. A. Wellborn, and M. A. McPeek. 1995. Diet composition in postmetamorphic bullfrogs and green frogs: implications for interspecific predation and competition. Journal of Herpetology 29:600-607.
McPeek, M. A., A. K. Schrot, and J. M. Brown. 1996. Adaptation to predators in a new community: Swimming performance and predator avoidance in damselflies. Ecology 77:617-629.
McPeek, M. A., and T. E. Miller. 1996. Evolutionary biology and community ecology. Ecology 77:1319-1320.
McPeek, M. A. 1996. Linking local species interactions to rates of speciation in communities. Ecology 77:1355-1366.
McPeek, M. A. 1996. Tradeoffs, food web structure, and the coexistence of habitat specialists and generalists. American Naturalist 148:S124-S138.
Holt, R. D., and M. A. McPeek. 1996. On the evolution of dispersal in a chaotic environment. American Naturalist 148:709-718.
Frugoli, J. A., H. H. Zhong, M. L. Nuccio, P. McCourt, M. A. McPeek, T. L. Thomas, and C. R. McClung. 1996. Catalase is encoded by a multi-gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Plant Physiology 112:327-336.
Kalisz, S., L. Horth, and M. A. McPeek. 1997. Fragmentation, isolation and the role of seedbanks in promoting persistence of Collinsia verna in isolated populations. In (M. Schwartz, ed.) Conservation of Highly Fragmented Landscapes, pp. 286-312. Chapman and Hall, Inc., New York.
McPeek, M. A. 1997. Measuring phenotypic selection on an adaptation: lamellae of damselflies experiencing dragonfly predation. Evolution 51:459-466.
McPeek, M. A. 1998. The consequences of changing the top predator in a food web: a comparative experimental approach. Ecological Monographs 68:1-23.
McPeek, M. A., and B. L. Peckarsky. 1998. Life histories and the strengths of species interactions: combining mortality, growth, and fecundity effects. Ecology 79:867-879.
Frugoli, J. A., M. A. McPeek, T. L. Thomas, and C. R. McClung. 1998. Intron loss and gain during the evolution of the catalase gene family in angiosperms. Genetics 149:355-365.
McPeek, M. A., and S. Kalisz. 1998. The joint evolution of dispersal and dormancy in metapopulations. Archive für Hydrobiologie 52:33-51.
McPeek, M. A., and G. A. Wellborn. 1998. Genetic variation and reproductive isolation among phenotypically divergent amphipod populations. Limnology and Oceanography 43:1162-1169.
Secker, J., R. Gomulkiewicz, and M. A. McPeek. 1998. Interstellar transport and local establishment dynamics of space-borne propagules. Proceedings of SPIE: Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology. R. B. Hoover, ed., Volume 3441, pp. 290-300.
McPeek, M. A. 1999. Biochemical evolution associated with antipredator adaptation in damselflies. Evolution 53:1835-1845.
McPeek, M. A., and J. M. Brown. 2000. Building a regional species pool: Diversification of the Enallagma damselflies in eastern North American waters. Ecology 81:904-920.
McPeek, M. A. 2000. Predisposed to adapt? Clade-level differences in characters affecting swimming performance in damselflies. Evolution 54:2072-2080.
Brown, J. M., M. A. McPeek and M. L. May. 2000. A phylogenetic perspective on habitat shifts and diversity in the North American Enallagma damselflies. Systematic Biology 49:697-712.
Peckarsky, B. L., B. W. Taylor, A. R. McIntosh, M. A. McPeek, and D. A. Lytle. 2001. Variation in mayfly size at metamorphosis as a developmental response to risk of predation. Ecology 82:740-757.
McPeek, M. A., M. Grace, J. M. L. Richardson. 2001. Physiological and behavioral responses to predators shape the growth/predation risk trade-off in damselflies. Ecology 82:1535-1545.
McPeek, M. A., N. L. Rodenhouse, R. T. Holmes, and T. W. Sherry. 2001 A general model of site-dependent population regulation: population-level regulation without individual-level interactions. Oikos 94:417-424.
Dietrich, M. R., C. R. McClung, and M. A. McPeek. 2001. Darwinian evolution across the disciplines. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23:339-340.
Turgeon, J., and M. A. McPeek. 2002. Phylogeographic analysis of a recent radiation of Enallagma damselflies (Odonata: Coenagrionidae). Molecular Ecology 11:1989-2002.
Webb, C. O., D. D. Ackerly, M. A. McPeek, and M. J. Donoghue. 2002. Phylogenies and community ecology. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33:475-505.
Stoks, R., M. A. McPeek, and J. L. Mitchell. 2003. The evolution of anti-predator behavior as lineages adapt to different habitats: damselflies in fish and dragonfly lakes. Evolution 57:574-585.
Stoks, R., and M. A. McPeek. 2003. Predators and life histories shape Lestes damselfly assemblages along the freshwater habitat gradient. Ecology 84:1576-1587.
Michael, T. P., P. A. Salomé, H. J. Yu, T. R. Spencer, E. L. Sharp, M. A. McPeek, J. M. Alonso, J. R. Ecker and C. R. McClung. 2003. Enhanced fitness conferred by naturally occurring variation in the circadian clock. Science 302:1049-1053.
Stoks, R., and M. A. McPeek. 2003. Antipredator behavior and digestive physiology determine Lestes species turnover along a gradient. Ecology 84:3327-3338.
Peterson, K. J., J. B. Lyons, K. S. Nowak, C. M. Takacs, M. J. Wargo, and M. A. McPeek. 2004. Estimating metazoan divergence times with a molecular clock. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , USA 101:6536-6541.
McPeek, M. A. 2004. The growth/predation-risk trade-off: so what is the mechanism? American Naturalist 163:E88-E111.
Wargo, M. J., M. A. McPeek and E. F. Smith. 2004. Analysis of microtubule sliding patterns in Chlamydomonas flagellar axonemes reveals dynein activity on specific doublet microtubules. Journal of Cell Science 117:2533-2544.
Case, T. J., R. D. Holt, M. A. McPeek, and T. H. Keitt. 2005. The community context of species’ borders: Ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Oikos 108:28-46.
Turgeon, J., R. Stoks, R. A. Thum, J. M. Brown and M. A. McPeek. 2005. Simultaneous Quaternary radiations of three damselfly clades across the Holarctic. American Naturalist 165:E78-E107.
Eldredge, N., J. N. Thompson, P. M. Brakefield, S. Gavrilets, D. Jablonski, R. E. Lenski, B. S. Lieberman, M. A. McPeek and W. Miller III. 2005. The dynamics of evolutionary stasis. Paleobiology 31:133-145.
Peterson, K. J., M. A. McPeek and D. A. D. Evans. 2005. Tempo and mode of early animal evolution: inferences from rocks, Hox, and molecular clocks. Paleobiology 31:36-55.
Stoks, R., J. L. Nystrom, M. L. May, and M. A. McPeek,. 2005. Parallel evolution in ecological and reproductive traits to produce cryptic damselfly species across the Holarctic. Evolution 59:1976-1988.
McPeek, M. A., and R. Gomulkiewicz. 2005. Assembling and depleting species richness in metacommunities: insights from ecology, population genetics and macroevolution. Pages 355-373 in Metacommunities: Spatial dynamics and ecological communities (M. A. Leibold, M. Holyoak, and R. D. Holt, editors). University of Chicago Press, Chicago , IL .
Stoks, R., M. DeBlock, and M. A. McPeek. 2005. Alternative growth and energy storage responses to mortality threats in damselflies. Ecology Letters 8:1307-1316.
Leibold, M. A., and M. A. McPeek. Coexistence of the niche and neutral perspectives in community ecology. Ecology, in press.
Lowe, W. H., G. E. Likens, M. A. McPeek, and D. C. Buso. Linking direct and indirect data on dispersal: isolation by slope in a headwater stream salamander. Ecology, in press.