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Kelly Stiver

stiver

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Research Interests:

Evolution of social behavior, cooperation, sexual conflict, sexual selection, mate choice, alternative reproductive strategies, neurobiology of social behavior.

Courses Taught:

PSY 100: Introduction to Psychology
PSY 311: Learning
PSY 393: Experimental Methods
PSY 484: Comparative Animal Behavior
Directed Study Experiences:  PSY 197, PSY 467, PSY 499

Research Projects:

I apply evolutionary theory to social behavior (predominantly cooperative behavior, typically in the context of simultaneous competition/conflict) in an attempt to understand the factors maintaining it (e.g. hormonal and neural mechanisms), the benefits arising from it, and the environmental factors that predict or disrupt it. My recent major focus has been on cooperation among current unrelated reproductive competitors, particularly those with alternative reproductive tactics -- where individuals use discretely distinct reproductive behaviors -- using two fish species. I also conduct research on relationship conflict in humans.

Program 1: Reproductive cooperation and competition in Symphodus ocellatusSymphodus ocellatus (the ocellated wrasse) is native to the Mediterranean and has a complex breeding system. Males engage in one of three alternative reproductive tactics: parental males guard nests and care for eggs, satellite males help parental males guard but do not provide care, and sneaker males neither guard nor care, but attempt to sneak fertilization in nests. I study cooperation between parental males and satellites, attempting to uncover the physiological correlates that underlie the cooperative and aggressive behavior they show in their interactions. My work has shown that both satellite and parental males benefit by cooperating with one another, but that satellites will "cheat" on this cooperation very quickly when the parental male cannot control him through aggression. My current research program has three major aims: 1) quantify male plasticity in social behavior and measure the fitness effects of this variation in male cooperative and competitive behavior, 2) document neural and hormonal mechanisms underlying plasticity in male social behavior, and 3) determine how variation in male social interactions affects the strength of and traits favored by sexual selection.

Collaborations and related projects: My primary collaboration is with Dr. Suzanne H. Alonzo at University of California at Santa Cruz. We conduct portions of this research in collaboration with Dr. Judith Mank (University College London) and Dr. Hans Hofmann (University of Texas at Austin). We also examine sexual conflict between male and female S. ocellatus. Examination of the impact of CO2 increase/ocean acidification is done in collaboration with Dr. Marco Milazzo (Università degli Studi di Palermo). Research with Dr. Holly Kindsvater (Rutgers University), and Dr. Ole Seehausen (Universität Bern) is focused on female reproductive investment, and establishing a clear phylogeny for the Symphodus taxonomic group.

Program 2: Alloparental care amongEtheostoma olmstedi: My studies of this local darter species use field observations and experimental manipulations of social environment to determine the factors underlying the evolution of care by reproductive males for abandoned, unrelated young. This alloparental care can be considered to constitute facultative reproductive effort by “less attractive” (smaller) males, as it appears to increase their likelihood of being chosen as a spawning partner by females who typically prefer only larger males. I plan to examine the effect of density on occurrence of alloparental care, and the possibility that males may show more active “same-time” sharing of nest sites than previously suspected.

Program 3: Relationship aggression, risk factors, and partner psychopathy: I examine variation in conflict in human romantic relationships, in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Camilleri at Westfield State University This work focuses specifically on whether psychopaths should be considered akin to a “personality type” that is more likely to exploit, aggress towards, and control romantic partners compared to non-psychopaths, and also the factors that make potential partners vulnerable to abuse by (possibly psychopathic) partners. In our sample, we study “everyday” psychopaths – non-criminals who score highly on a psychopathy index. Preliminary analysis suggests that partner psychopathy is a risk factor for domestic violence, but that potential victim attachment style and perspective of sexual violence as “expected” are additional risk factors, particularly of being paired with a psychopathic partner.


Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

27. Nugent. B. M., Stiver, K. A., Alonzo, S. H., & Hofmann, H. A. (2016). Neuroendocrine profiles associated with discrete behavioral variation in Symphodus ocellatus, a species with male alternative reproductive tactics. Molecular Ecology.

26. Alonzo, S. H., Stiver, K. A., & Marsh-Rollo, S. (2016). Females can choose among males after mating, even when fertilization occurs externally. Nature Communications

25. Milazzo, M., Cattano, C., Alonzo, S. H., Gristina, M., Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Sinopoli, M., Spatafora, D., Stiver, K. A., & Hall-Spencer, J. M. (2016). Ocean acidification affects fish spawning but not paternity at CO2 seeps. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B(Order of authors 3-8 was determined alphabetically)

24. Stiver, K. A., Harris, R. M., Townsend JP, Hofmann, H. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2015). Neural gene expression profiles and androgen levels underlie alternative reproductive tactics in the ocellated wrasse, Symphodus ocellatus. Ethology120, 1-16

23. Stiver, K. A., Wolff, S. H., Alonzo, S. H. (2013). Territory sharing in Etheostoma olmstedi suggests an alternate form of cooperation in an alloparental species. PLoS One 8, e56041.

22. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2013).Does the risk of sperm competition help explain cooperation between reproductive competitors? A study in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus). TheAmerican Naturalist 181, 357-368.

21. Stiver, K. A., Wolff, S. H., & Alonzo, S. H. (2012). Adoption and cuckoldry lead to alloparental care in the tessellated darter (Etheostoma olmstedi), a non-group-living species with no evidence ofnest site limitation. Behavioral Ecology Sociobiology66, 855-864.

20. Wong, M., Jordan, L., Marsh-Rollo, S., St-Cyr, S., Reynolds, J., Stiver, K. A., Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick, J. L., & Balshine, S. (2012). Mating systems in cooperative breeders: the roles of resource dispersion and conflict mitigation. Behavioural Ecology23, 521-530.

19. Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Stiver, K. A., Van Der Kraak, G. J., Balshine, S. (2011). Lunar and diurnal cycles in reproductive physiology and behavior in a natural population of cooperatively breeding fish. Journal of Zoology285, 66-73.

18. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2011). Alloparental care increases mating success. Behavioural Ecology22, 206-211.

17. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2010). Large males have a mating advantage in a species of darter with smaller, allopaternal males (Etheostoma olmstedi). Current Zoology56, 1-5.

16. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2009). Parental and mating effort: Is there necessarily a trade-off? Invited review. Ethology115, 1101-1126.

15. Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., & Balshine, S. (2009). Mixed parentage in Neolamprologus pulcher groups. Journal of Fish Biology74, 1129-1135.

14. Sopinka, N. M., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Marsh-Rollo, S. E, & Balshine, S. (2009). Liver size reveals social status in an African cichlid fish. Journal of Fish Biology75, 1-16.

13. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Montgomerie, R., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Kolm, N., & Balshine, S. (2008). Female promiscuity promotes the evolution of faster sperm in cichlid fishes. PNAS 106, 1128-1132.

12. Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Neff, B. D., Quinn, J. S., & Balshine, S. (2008). The role of genetic relatedness among social mates in a cooperative breeder. Behavioural Ecology19, 816-823.

11. Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Balshine, S. (2008). Differential responses to territory intrusions in cooperatively breeding fish. Animal Behaviour75, 595-604.

10. Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Milligan N, Van Der Kraak, G. J., & Balshine, S. (2008). Sex and status in a cooperative breeding fish: behavior and androgens. Behavioral Ecology Sociobiology62, 785-794.

9. Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Stiver, K. A., Milligan N, Van Der Kraak, G. J., & Balshine, S. (2008). Costs and benefits of polygyny in the cichlid, Neolamprologus pulcher. Animal Behaviour75, 1771-1779.

8. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., MilliganN, Stiver, K. A., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2008). Female-mediated causes and consequences of status change in a cooperatively breeding fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 275, 929-936.

7. Vaillancourt, T., McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Krygsman, A., Miller, J., Stiver, K., & Davis, C. (2008). Bullying: Are researchers and children/youth talking about the same thing? International Journal of Behavioural Development32, 486-496.

6. Stiver, K. A., Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick, J. L., Neff, B. D., Quinn, J. S., & Balshine, S. (2007). Evidence for age and sex specific dispersal in a cooperatively breeding fish. Molecular Ecology16, 2974-2984.

5. Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick J, Desjardins, J. K. & Balshine, S. (2006). Rates of territory joining and inheritance in a cooperatively breeding fish. Animal Behaviour 71, 449-456.

4. Clark, M. M., Stiver, K. A., Teall, T., & Galef, B. G. (2006). Nursing one litter of Mongolian gerbils while pregnant with another: effects on daughters’ mate attachment and fecundity. Animal Behaviour71, 235-241.

3. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2006). Male reproductive suppression in the cooperatively breeding fish Neolamprologus pulcher. Behavioural Ecology17, 25-33.

2. Stiver, K. A., Gibbs, H. L., Dierkes, P., Taborsky, M., & Balshine, S. (2005). Relatedness and helping in fish: testing the theoretical predictions. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B272, 1593-1599.

1. Stiver, K. A., Dierkes, P., Taborsky, M., & Balshine, S. (2004). Dispersal patterns and status change in a cooperatively breeding fish: evidence from microsatellite analyses and behavioural observations. Journal of Fish Biology65, 91-105.

Book Chapters

1. Camilleri, J. A., & Stiver, K. A. (2015). Adaptation and sexual offending. In: V. A. Weekes-Shackelford & T. K. Shackelford (Eds.) Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Sexual Psychology and Behavior. Springer.

 

Conference Presentations:

 *indicates student author

 Plenary Presentations:

 1. Stiver, K. A., (2009). How relatedness informs and influences behaviour of Neolamprologus pulcher in the wild. Universität Bern, Department of Biology Symposium (Adelboden, Switzerland)

 Session Presentations:

17. Stiver, K. A., Marsh-Rollo, S. E, & Alonzo, S. H. (2015). Ladies’ choice II: How she doesn’t do it. How is fertilization biased by ovarian fluid? SCSU Research Tapas Event.

16. Stiver, K. A., Marsh-Rollo, S. E, & Alonzo, S. H. (2014). Ladies’ choice: The role of ovarian fluid in sperm competition. SCSU Research Tapas Event.

15. Stiver, K. A., Marsh-Rollo, S., Townsend, J., Hofmann, H., & Alonzo, S. H. (2011). Male alternative tactics. Gene-expression variation, and the potential fitness consequences of AVT-manipulation in the ocellated wrasse (Symphodus ocellatus). Evolution Society Annual Conference (Norman, USA).

14. Stiver, K. A., (2008). The cooperatively breeding cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. Yale University, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Annual In-House Conference (New Haven, USA).

13. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2007). Social control of reproduction in a cooperative fish. Biology of Spermatozoa (Losehall Hill, UK).

12. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Wood, C., & Balshine, S. (2007). Social status, sperm and stress: reproductive suppression in fish. Rice Lake Comparative Physiology Workshop (Rice Lake, Canada).

11. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Montgomerie, R., Wood, C., & Balshine, S. (2007). Social status, sperm and stress:  Male reproductive suppression in a cooperative fish. Society of Experimental Biology (Washington DC, USA).

10. Stiver, K. A., Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick J, Neff, B. D., Quinn, J. S., & Balshine, S. (2006). Relatedness estimates suggest male-biased dispersal in a cichlid fish. 11th Biennial Congress of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology (ISBE) (Tours, France).

9. Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick J, Van Der Kraak, G. J., & Balshine, S. (2006). Sexual conflict in a cooperative world. 11th ISBE (Tours, France).

8. Balshine, S.,Stiver, K. A., Desjardins, J. K., & Fitzpatrick J. (2006). The influence of social status on physiology, gene expression and behaviour in Neolamprologus pulcher, a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish from lake Tanganyika. 11th ISBE (Tours, France).

7. Stiver, K. A., Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick J, Neff, B. D., Quinn, J. S., & Balshine, S. (2006). Relatedness estimates suggest male-biased dispersal in a cichlid fish. Ontario Ethology Ecology Colloquium (OEEC)(St. Catharines, Canada).

6. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2006). Social control of reproduction in a cooperative fish. OEEC (St. Catharines, Canada).

5. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Wood, C., & Balshine, S. (2006). Male reproductive suppression and growth in the cooperatively breeding fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. Rice Lake Comparative Physiology Workshop (St. Catharines, Canada).

4. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., & Balshine, S. (2005). Differential reproductive investment in the cooperatively breeding fish Neolamprologus pulcher. OEEC (Toronto. Canada).

3. Balshine, S., Stiver, K. A., & Desjardins, J. K. (2004). Explaining helping variation in a cooperatively breeding fish from Lake Tanganyika. Animal Behavior Society Meeting (Snowbird, USA).

2. Stiver, K. A.,  & Desjardins, J. K. (2004). Field research on the cooperatively breeding cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher. McMaster Psychology Annual In-House Conference (Hamilton, Canada).

1. Stiver, K. A., Gibbs, H. L., Dierkes, P., Taborsky, M., & Balshine, S. (2002). Relatedness and helping in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish. OEEC (Guelph, Canada).

Poster Presentations:

16. *Acosta, J. R., & Stiver, K. A. (2016). Risk factors of relationship violence. CSU Psychology Day

15. *Acosta, J. R., & Stiver, K. A. (2016). Risk factors of relationship violence. 2nd Annual SCSU Undergraduate Research Conference

14. *Delventhal, K. E., & Stiver, K. A. (2015). Preliminary Investigation of Relationship Conflict Risk and Victim/Perpetrator Traits. 1st Annual SCSU Undergraduate Research Conference

13. *Bernatene, V. J., Stiver, K. A. (2015). Individual Variation in Reproductive Behavior in a Marine Fish. 1st Annual SCSU Undergraduate Research Conference

12. Stiver, K. A., Nugent, B. M., Marsh-Rollo, S. E., Alonzo, S. H. (2014). Within-tactic variation in cooperation and conflict: Morphology, life-history, and differential investment among Symphodus ocellatus satellites. Biannual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Ecology  (ISBE) (New York, USA).

11. Nugent, B. M., Stiver, K. A., Alonzo, S. H, & Hofmann, H. A. (2014). Transcriptomics and behavioral endocrinology of alternative reproductive tactics. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (Austin, USA)

10. Stiver, K. A., Marsh-Rollo, S., & Alonzo, S. H. (2013). Neuropeptide manipulation of a wild-living fish influences behavior and fitness, with cascading effects to other individuals. Annual Meeting of the Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology(SBN) (Atlanta, USA).

9. Harris RM, Stiver, K. A., Townsend J, Alonzo, S. H, & Hofmann, H.A. (2013). Brain transcriptomes vary with reproductive tactic in the ocellated wrasse, Symphodus ocellatus. SBN (Atlanta, USA).

8. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2009). The affect of female preference and competitor density on allopaternal care in the tessellated darter. 12th Biennial Congress of the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (Turin, Italy).

7. Stiver, K. A., & Alonzo, S. H. (2008). Allopaternal care in the tessellated darter. 12th ISBE (Ithaca, USA).

6. Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Fitzpatrick, J., Van Der Kraak, G. J., & Balshine, S. (2006). Sexual conflict in a cooperative world. International Society for Behavioural Neuroendocrinology (ISBN) (Tours, France).

5. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Milligan, N., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2006). Suspicious sneaking in a cooperative fish. 11th ISBE (Tours, France).

4. Desjardins, J. K., Fitzpatrick J, Stiver, K. A., Van Der Kraak, G., & Balshine, S. (2005). Sex Specific Hormone fluctuations in relation to mating system in a cichlid fish. ISBN (Pittsburgh, USA.

3. Fitzpatrick, J. L., Desjardins, J. K., Stiver, K. A., Milligan, N., Montgomerie, R., & Balshine, S. (2005). Sperm characteristics in relation to sperm competition in African cichlids (poster). Biology of Spermatozoa (Derbyshire, UK).

2. Stiver, K. A., Gibbs, H. L., Dierkes, P., Taborsky, M., & Balshine, S. (2002). Relatedness and helping patterns in a cooperatively breeding cichlid fish. 9th ISBE (Montreal, Canada).

1. Stiver, K. A., Dierkes, P., Taborsky, M., & Balshine, S. (2002). Microsatellite analysis and behavioural observations reveal dispersal patterns and status change in a cooperatively breeding fish. Ontario Ethology Ecology Colloquium (Guelph, Canada).