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  • UC Riverside
  • College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Mary V. Price


Professor of Biology Emeritus


Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1976

My interests include the population, community, and evolutionary ecology of both animals and plants, especially in arid and montane ecosystems.  Working primarily at UC's Motte and Granite Mountains Reserves, I am exploring how ecologically similar seed-eating desert rodents compete and coexist, and the nature of their interactions with plants.  This work also encompasses population and conservation biology of threatened or endangered rodent species.  In addition, I have carried out long-term research at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory on how the mutualistic interactions between plants and pollinators mold the evolution of flower morphology, plant mating patterns, and plant population dynamics.

My students and I participate in the Evolutionary Biology graduate group.  Recent and ongoing projects include:

  • Compensation for ungulate browsing by Ipomopsis aggregata (Kate Sharaf, Harvard University, REU student)
  • Linkages between pollination success, population dynamics, and individual fitness in scarlet gilia (Nick Waser; see abstract)
  • Dynamics of seed-patch depletion by kangaroo rats (Rachel Correll, Honours Research, 2000; see abstract)
  • Demographic responses of kangaroo rats to food augmentation (Yvonne Moore, MA research)
  • Responses of montane meadow plants to experimental global warming (abstract)
  • Seed-caching behavior and coexistence of heteromyid rodents (Shauna McDonald; see abstract)
  • Invasion dynamics of Brassica tournefortii (Cathy Koehler)
  • Effects of habitat fragmentation on space use by chipmunks (Deb Lewkiewicz)
  • Ecotypic variation Encelia farinosa (Dave Housman, MA, 1998) (abstract)
  • Distribution of coastal sage scrub small mammals: habitat and landscape effects (with John Rotenberry and Bill Kristan; see abstract)
  • Interactions between exotic weeds and native ephemeral plants in the Mojave Desert (Matt Brooks, PhD, 1998)

Some Representative Publications....

  • Chase, M.  K., W.  B.  Kristan III, A.  J.  Lynam, M.  V.  Price, and J.  T.  Rotenberry.  2000.  Single species as indicators of species richness and composition in California coastal sage scrub bird and small mammal communities.  Conservation Biology 14:474-487. 
  • Price, M.  V., N.  M.  Waser, and S.  McDonald.  2000.  Seed caching by heteromyid rodents from two communities: Implications for coexistence.  Journal of Mammalogy 81:97-106. 
  • Price, M.  V.  and N.  M.  Waser.  2000.  Responses of subalpine meadow vegetation to four years of experimental warming.  Ecological Applications 10:811-823. 
  • Price, M.  V.  and J.  W.  Joyner.  1997.  What resources are available to desert granivores: seed rain or soil seedbank?.  Ecology 78:764-773. 
  • Price, M.  V.  and M.  Gilpin.  1996.  Modellers, mammalogists, and metapopulations: designing Stephens' kangaroo rat reserves.  In: D.  R.  McCullough (ed.) Metapopulations and Wildlife Conservation and Management.  Island Press, Washington DC, pp.  217-240. 
  • Morgan, K.  R.  and M.  V.  Price.  1992.  Foraging in heteromyid rodents: the energy cost of scratch-digging.  Ecology 73:2260-2272
  • Longland, W.  S.  and M.  V.  Price.  1991.  Direct observations of owls and heteromyid rodents: can predation risk explain microhabitat use? Ecology 72:2261-2273. 
  • Price, M.  V.  and S.  H.  Jenkins.  1986.  Rodents as seed consumers and seed dispersers.  In: Murray, D.  R.  (ed) Seed Dispersal. Academic Press, Sydney, pp.  191-235

(For a full publication list click here)

Recent Teaching....

  • Biology 5C, Introduction to Population Biology
  • Biology 117, Introductory Population and Community Ecology
  • Biology 118/218, Field Course in Evolutionary Ecology
  • Biology 217, Graduate Population and Community Ecology