William Wagner
William Wagner
Professor

Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 1991
Contact Information
54 Manter Hall
402.472.0742

 

Research Interests


I am interested in the evolution of animal communication systems, particularly the evolution of signals used by males to attract females, and the evolution of female responses to these male signals. My current projects primarily address the evolution of male signals and female mating preferences in the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. This work includes: (1) the effect of natural and sexual selection on the evolution of male singing behavior; (2) the direct benefits and costs of female mating preferences; and (3) the role of female behavior in driving the evolution of male contributions to female fitness.

I use a variety of approaches in my research, including within-population estimates of selection, across-population comparisons, lab-based measurements of behavioral energetics, experimental analyses of the costs and benefits of male signals and female preferences, and quantitative genetics.

Publications


  • Wagner, W. E. Jr, O. M. Beckers, A. E. Tolle and A. L. Basolo. 2012. Tradeoffs limit the evolution of male traits that are attractive to females.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B;279:2899–2906.
  • Beckers, O. M. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2012. Divergent preferences for song structure between a field cricket and its phonotactic parasitoid;Journal of Insect Behavior 25: 467–477.
  • Beckers, O. M., C. M. Martin and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2011. Survival of Ormia ochracea larvae (Diptera: Tachinidae). Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 84: 235–237.
  • Beckers, O. M. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2011. Male field crickets infested by parasitoid flies express phenotypes that may benefit the parasitoids. Animal Behaviour 82: 1151–1157.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 2011. Direct benefits and the evolution of female mating preferences: conceptual problems, potential solutions, and a field cricket. Advances in the Study Behavior 43: 273-319.
  • Mitra, C., W. E. Wagner Jr, A. J. Zera and A. E. Tolle. 2011. Variation in singing behaviour among wing and flight-muscle morphs of the sand field cricket, Gryllus firmus. Ecological Entomology 36: 152-160.
  • Beckers, O. M. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2011. Mate sampling strategies in field crickets: evidence for fixed threshold with last chance option. Animal Behaviour 81: 519-527.
  • Tolle, A. E. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2011. Costly signals in a field cricket can indicate high or low quality direct benefits depending upon the environment. Evolution 65: 283-294.
  • Martin, C. M. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2010. Female field crickets incur increased parasitism risk when near preferred song. PLoS ONE 5(3): e9592.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and A. L. Basolo. 2008. Incidental sanctions and the evolution of direct benefits. Ethology 114: 521-539.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr, A. R. Smith, and A. L. Basolo. 2007. False promises: females spurn cheating males in a field cricket. Biology Letters 3: 379-381.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and A. L. Basolo. 2007. Host preferences in a phonotactic parasitoid of field crickets: the relative importance of host song characters. Ecological Entomology 32: 478-484.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. and A. L. Basolo. 2007. The relative importance of different direct benefits in the mate choices of a field cricket. Evolution 61: 617-622.
  • Basolo, A. L. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2006. Genetic variation in maternal investment patterns in Platyfish Xiphophorus maculatus. Zebrafish 3: 339-345.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 2005. Male field crickets that provide reproductive benefits to females incur higher costs. Ecological Entomology 30: 350-357.
  • Olvido, A. E. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2004. Signal components, acoustic preference functions, and sexual selection in a cricket. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 83: 461-472.
  • Basolo, A. L. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 2004. Covariation between predation risk, body size and fin elaboration in the green swordtail, Xiphophorus helleri. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 83: 87-100.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and C. J. Harper. 2003. Female life span and fertility are increased by the ejaculates of preferred males. Evolution 57: 2054-2066.
  • Rosenthal, G. G., W. E. Wagner Jr and M. J. Ryan. 2002. Secondary reduction of preference for swords in the pygmy swordtail Xiphophorus nigrensis (Pisces: Poeciliidae). Animal Behaviour 63: 37-45.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr, M. R. Smeds and D. D. Wiegmann. 2001. Experience affects female responses to male song in the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps (Orthoptera, Gryllidae). Ethology 107: 769-776.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr, R. J. Kelley, K. R. Tucker and C. J. Harper. 2001. Females receive a life span benefit from male ejaculates in a field cricket. Evolution 55: 994-1001.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and M. G. Reiser. 2000. The relative importance of calling song and courtship song in female mate choice in the variable field cricket. Animal Behaviour 59: 1219-1226.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and W. W. Hoback. 1999. Nutritional effects on male calling behaviour in the variable field cricket. Animal Behaviour 57: 89–95.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1998. Measuring female mating preferences. Animal Behaviour 55: 1029–1042.
  • Hoback, W. W. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 1997. The energetic cost of calling in the variable field cricket, Gryllus lineaticeps. Physiological Entomology 22: 286–290.
  • Morris, M., W. E. Wagner Jr, and M. J. Ryan. 1996. A negative correlation between trait and mate preference in Xiphophorus pygmaeus. Animal Behaviour 52: 1193–1203.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1996. Convergent song preferences between female field crickets and acoustically orienting parasitoid flies. Behavioral Ecology 7: 279–285.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr, A.-M. Murray and W. H. Cade. 1995. Phenotypic variation in the mating preferences of female field crickets (Gryllus integer). Animal Behaviour 49: 1269–1281.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and B. K. Sullivan. 1995. Sexual selection in the Gulf Coast toad (Bufo valliceps): female choice based on variable characters. Animal Behaviour 49: 305–319.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1992. Deceptive or honest signalling of fighting ability? A test of alternative hypotheses for the function of changes in call dominant frequency by male cricket frogs. Animal Behaviour 44: 449–462.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr and B. K. Sullivan. 1992. Chorus organization in the Gulf Coast toad (Bufo valliceps): male and female behavior, and the opportunity for sexual selection. Copeia 1992: 647–658.
  • Ryan, M. J., D. K. Hews, and W. E. Wagner Jr. 1990. Sexual selection on alleles that determine body size in the swordtail Xiphophorus nigrensis. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 26: 231–237.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1989. Fighting, assessment, and frequency alteration in Blanchard's cricket frog. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 25: 429–436.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1989. Graded aggressive signals in Blanchard's cricket frog: vocal responses to opponent proximity and size. Animal Behaviour 38: 1025–1038.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1989. Social correlates of variation in male calling behavior in Blanchard's cricket frog, Acris crepitans blanchardi. Ethology 82: 27–45.
  • Sullivan, B. K. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 1988. Variation in advertisement and release calls, and social influences on calling behavior in the Gulf Coast toad (Bufo valliceps). Copeia 1988: 1014–1020.
  • Ryan, M. J. and W. E. Wagner Jr. 1987. Mating asymmetries between species: female swordtails prefer to mate with heterospecifics. Science 236: 595–597.
  • Wagner, W. E. Jr. 1986. Tadpoles and pollen observations on the feeding behavior of Hyla regilla larvae .Copeia;1986: 802–804.