Patricia Adair Gowaty

Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus


Ph.D., Clemson University

More About

As an evolutionary (behavioral) ecologist, I ask questions about selective forces shaping phenotypic variation in behavior that results in patterns of social organization. I focus on natural selection and variation in mating systems (e.g., social monogamy and extra-pair paternity), sex allocation (distribution of effort by parents to sons versus daughters as in sex ratios of progeny), and sex differentiated behavior. For 30 years, I have studied populations of eastern bluebirds. My students and I are currently studying the effects of food competition with fire ants on behavior, demography, mating system, and life histories of eastern bluebirds. Recently, with collaborators, I have studied the effects of mate choice on offspring viability in Drosophila pseudoobscura, mallards, mice and several other species. I am also working on a theory of social behavior (Gowaty & Hubbell 2005) that predicts adaptively flexible sex role behavior of both females and males – even under chance variation in inducing variables.

Research Interests
  • Evolutionary ecology
  • Sexual behavior
  • Parental behavior
  • Maternal effects
  • Developmental plasticity
  • Sex allocation
  • Genetic parentage
  • Ornithology
Selected Publications

Anderson, W. W., Yong-Kyu Kim, and P. A. Gowaty. 2007. Experimental constraints on female and male mate preferences in Drosophila pseudoobscura decrease offspring viability and reproductive success of breeding pairs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Gowaty, P. A. 2006. Beyond extra-pair paternity: individual constraints, fitness components, and social mating systems. In Essays on Animal Behavior: Celebrating 50 years of Animal Behaviour. Pp. 221-256. Eds: Jeff Lucas and Lee Simmons. Cambridge University.

Gowaty, P. A. and S.P. Hubbell. 2005. Chance, time allocation, and the evolution of adaptively flexible sex roles. J. Integrative and Comparative Biology. Volume 45(5), 247-260.

Bluhm, C. K. & P. A. Gowaty. 2004. Social constraints on female mate preferences in mallards Anas platyrhynchos decrease offspring viability and mother productivity. Animal Behaviour 68: 977-983.

Bluhm, C. K. and P. A. Gowaty. 2004. Reproductive compensation for offspring viability deficits by female mallards Anas platyrhynchos. Animal Behaviour 68: 985-992.

Gowaty, P.A. 2003. Sex roles, contests for the control of reproduction, and sexual selection in Sexual Selection in Primates: New and Comparative Perspectives, (Kappeler, P.M. and van Schaik, C.P., eds), pp. 163-221. Cambridge University Press

Gowaty, P. A. 2003. Power Asymmetries between the Sexes, Mate Preferences, and Components of Fitness. In: Cheryl Travis (ed.) Women, Evolution, and Power, pp 61-86. Boston: MIT Press

Gowaty, P. A. 1999. Extra-pair paternity and paternal care: Differential fitness among males via male exploitation of variation among females. In: Adams, N. & Slotow, R. (Eds), Proc. 22 Int. Ornitholog. Congr. Durban, University of Natal: 2639-2656. Johannesburg: BirdLife South Africa

Gowaty, P. A. and N. Buschhaus. 1998. Ultimate Causation of Aggressive and Forced Copulation in Birds: Female Resistance, the CODE Hypothesis and Social Monogamy. American Zoologist 38:207-225.

Gowaty, P. A. 1997. Sexual dialectics, sexual selection, and variation in mating behavior. In: Feminism and Evolutionary Biology (ed. P. A. Gowaty). Chapman Hall: New York, pp 351-384.

Gowaty, P. A. 1996. Battles of the sexes and origins of monogamy: IN: J. L. Black Partnerships in Birds. Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution. Oxford University Press: Oxford pages 21-52.

Gowaty, P. A. 1996. Field studies of parental care in birds: New data focus questions on variation in females. In: Advances in the Study of Behaviour. (ed. by: C. T. Snowdon and J. S. Rosenblatt). Academic Press, New York pp 476-531.