I am interested in how natural and sexual selection work together to favor the evolution of specific animal phenotypes, how aposematic signaling may drive the evolution of social behavior in the context of visual ecology, and how specialized visual systems coevolve with specialized visual cues. My dissertation work examined these aspects using neotropical Heliconius butterflies.
My current work at the University of Chicago (in conjunction with Boston University) involves a comprehensive analysis of the evolutionary mechanisms underlying adaptive phenotypic variation across a rapidly diversifying lineage of butterflies, with the central goal of understanding the ecological and evolutionary processes that shape temporal and spatial patterns of biodiversity.
Current appointment: Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of Chicago with the Kronforst Lab (co-supervised by Sean Mullen, Boston University)
University of California, Irvine – Ph.D. 2015 in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Cornell University – B.Sc. 2009 in Entomology with Honors Distinction in Research
Fellowships and Awards:
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Fellow (Current)
Boston University PDPA Travel Grant (2016)
U.S. Department of Education GAANN Fellow (2015)
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow (2011-2014)
National Geographic Research Grant (2014)
UCI School of Biological Sciences Holcomb Scholarship (2014)
Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research (2012)
Smithsonian Institution Travel Award (2012)
International Society for Behavioral Ecology (ISBE) Travel Grant (2012)
National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant (2011)
Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) Short-Term Fellowship (2011)
U.S. Department of Education GAANN Fellow (2010-2011)
President’s Prize Winner – Entomological Society of America (ESA) Conference (2011)
OTS Ruggles Scholarship Award (2010)
Finkbeiner, S. D., P. Salazar, S. Nogales, C. Rush, A. D. Briscoe, R. I. Hill, M. R. Kronforst, K. R. Willmott, and S. P. Mullen. 2017. Frequency-dependence shapes the adaptive landscape of Batesian mimicry. Proceedings of the Royal Society London, in review.
Kristiansen*, E. B., S. D. Finkbeiner*, L. Pursa, R. I. Hill, and S. P. Mullen. 2017. Testing the adaptive significance of a putative Batesian mimicry speciation phenotype among hybridizing North American admiral butterflies. Evolution, in review. *Equal contribution author
Finkbeiner, S. D., D. A. Fishman, D. Osorio, and A. D. Briscoe. 2017. Ultraviolet and yellow reflectance but not fluorescence is important for visual discrimination of conspecifics by Heliconius erato. Journal of Experimental Biology. doi: 10.1242/jeb.153593
Finkbeiner, S. D., A. D. Briscoe, and S. P. Mullen. 2016. Complex dynamics underlie the evolution of imperfect wing pattern convergence in butterflies. Evolution. doi:10.1111/evo.13165
Finkbeiner, S. D., A. D. Briscoe, and R. D. Reed. 2014. Warning signals are seductive: Relative contributions of color and pattern to predator avoidance and mate attraction in Heliconius butterflies. Evolution. 68(12):3410-3420.
Finkbeiner, S. D. 2014. Communal roosting in Heliconius butterflies (Nymphalidae): Roost recruitment, establishment, fidelity, and resource use trends based on age and sex. Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. 68(1):10-16.
Finkbeiner, S. D., A. D. Briscoe, and R. D. Reed. 2012. The benefit of being a social butterfly: communal roosting deters predation. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B. 279(1739): 2769-2776.
One of PRSB’s most-read articles of March 2012
Featured in Science 2012 Year in Pictures
Finkbeiner, S. D., R. D. Reed, R. Dirig, and J. E. Losey. 2011. The role of environmental factors in the northeastern range expansion of Papilio cresphontes Cramer (Papilionidae). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society. 65(2):119-125.