Suzanne H. Alonzo

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Suzanne Alonzo

I am interested in the evolution and ecology of reproductive traits, especially behaviors. My research is a mix of theory and empirical work. My fieldwork takes me to Corsica to study a species of fish with a particularly complex and fascinating mating system (the ocellated wrasse). Over the years, I have studied a variety of topics, including sperm competition, parental care, alternative reproductive behaviors, female mate choice and sexual conflict. This may explain why my research is currently focused on understanding how male/female coevolution and social interactions simultaneously affect mating, fertilization and parental investment. Because I am both an evolutionary biologist and a behavioral ecologist at heart, I think of the American Naturalist as "my" journal and society because it is one of the few places where theory, data, evolution, ecology and behavior all come together so naturally. 

Alonzo scubadiving

Most of my empirical work is conducted on SCUBA, underwater in the Mediterranean Ocean, which I love. This marine obsession may have been the result of growing up in central Illinois (where we were far away from any seawater) or it might have started during a field studies course in Moorea, French Polynesia taken while an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley. However, my interest in reproductive behaviors and fishes can be blamed on George Barlow, my undergraduate advisor whose excitement about science, teaching and mentorship shifted my plans from veterinary school to graduate study in evolutionary biology at the University of California Santa Barbara with Robert Warner(bringing me even closer to the ocean!).

I like to say I am a professional observer, as one of the things I enjoy most is just watching organisms while trying to puzzle out what they are doing and why it may have evolved. This tendency also bleeds over into my hobbies, which include hiking, running, and kayaking (ideally all with my golden retriever). However, my favorite pastime is being with my kids (who luckily also enjoy being in the water). While I do spend more time in front of my computer than underwater these days, I still find it amazing that I can get paid for something that I enjoy this much (and takes me each summer to Corsica).

Alonzo kayaking

Yale University
Associate Professor
ASN Member Since: