Dr. Tom Valone is a Professor in the Department of Biology at St. Louis University and Director of the Reis Biological Station. He received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Cordia University in Montreal and University of New Mexico. Tom is with us today to tell us about his journey through life and science.
While Tom’s research interests are diverse, they can be divided into two broad categories: (i) arid ecosystem ecology and conservation and (ii) the behavioral ecology of information use. Much of his work in arid ecosystems has examined desertification and factors that affect the biodiversity. He is particularly interested in livestock effects on soil chemical and physical processes that then affect plant and animal populations. Tom’s examination of behavior is frequently centered on understanding how animals perceive their environment. Much of his behavioral work examines information use in social animals who differ from solitary individuals in that they can acquire public information to estimate the quality of resources by noting the activities of other individuals.