John Albert C Uy

Assoc. Professor

(305) 284-8558
Locator Code:


Research Interests

The tropics harbor the greatest diversity on the planet. However, we still know little about the mechanisms that create and maintain this striking diversity. Using an interdisciplinary approach, research in the Uy lab aims to elucidate how biological diversity is generated and maintained in tropical and island systems. Our current focus is to understand the link between mating signal diversification, and the ecology and evolution of reproductive isolation. Divergence in mating signals has been shown to create and maintain reproductive isolation, yet the underlying genetic changes and selective mechanisms causing this divergence remain little understood. We use an integrative and modern approach, which includes molecular phylogenetics, evolutionary genetics, population genetics, genomics, and behavioral and sensory ecology. In addition, we use our long-term field projects in the tropics to launch grass-roots conservation programs to protect imperiled ecosystems from habitat degradation and climate change.

Teaching Interests

I teach a diverse set of classes that range from a large lecture course on the fundamentals of ecology to a field course in the remote Solomon Islands. Although diverse in topic and approaches, a common goal in my teaching is to not only pass on information but to encourage and foster critical thinking. The lab course I teach in Animal Behavior, for instance, involves students conducting hands-on research projects that enforce information learned in class but also challenge students to design and implement independent research projects. The courses I teach at UM include: a large lecture course in Ecology, field courses in the Solomon Islands and the Galapagos Islands, lab course in Animal Behavior, and seminars at the graduate and advanced undergraduate levels.


2000 - 2002Post Doctoral Fellow in Biological Informatics University of California, Santa Barbara
2000Ph.D. Biology University of Maryland, College Park
1994B.A. Integrative Biology University of California, Berkeley

Professional Experience

2011 - Aresty Chair in Tropical Ecology & Associate Professor, University of Miami
2009 - 2010Associate Professor, Syracuse University
2004 - 2009Assistant Professor, Syracuse University
2002 - 2004Assistant Professor, San Francisco State University

Honors & Acknowledgements

National Science Foundation CRPA grant. 2013-2016. "Incipient species project".
National Geographic Society. 2012-2013. "On the origin of species on islands: How variation within populations leads to fixed differences between incipient species".
National Science Foundation CAREER grant. 2007-2013. "Factors that shape the evolution of multimodal signals in the chestnut-bellied flycatcher".
National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biological Informatics. 2000-2002. "Signal Evolution and Speciation".
National Geographic Society, Committee for Research and Exploration grant. 2001-2002. "Signal Evolution and Speciation in Kingfishers".

LIST OF SPECIALTIES: Evolutionary Biology | Behavioral Ecology | Ecology | Tropical Biology | Conservation Biology


Cooper, E.A. & J.A.C. Uy "Genomic evidence for convergent evolution of a key trait underlying divergence in island birds" 3760-7426 (Molecular Ecology. 2017).

Uy, F.M.K., S. Ravichandran, K.S. Patel, J. Aresty, P.P. Aresty, R. Audett, K. Chen, L. Epple, S.F. Jeffries, G. Serein, P. Tullis-Joyce & J.A.C. Uy "Active background choice facilitates crypsis in a tropical crab" 365-7149 (Biotropica. 2017).