Faculty and Staff

David Stokes

Associate Professor

B.A. Geology, Williams College
Ph.D. Zoology, University of Washington

Office: UW1-144
Phone: 425-352-3665
Email: dstokes@u.washington.edu
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


I teach courses in the biological realm of environmental science, in subjects such as conservation biology, conservation planning, and ecology.  In all of my classes, my teaching is motivated by the critical need to improve our understanding of our environment.  We are facing conservation and sustainability dilemmas of unprecedented complexity.  To resolve these issues will require a thorough and rigorous understanding of our earth and its biological components.  I try to develop in students not only a depth of knowledge in a particular subject, but also the critical thinking skills, broad interdisciplinary understanding, and effective communication skills they will need to intelligently address future challenges.


BES 362  Introduction to Restoration Ecology
BES 485  Conservation Biology
BIS 393  Special Topics: Environmental History of the Bioregion
BPOLST 593  Land Use Policy


My research addresses topics in the fields of conservation biology, avian ecology, behavioral ecology, and landscape ecology. I am most interested in questions that have both theoretical and applied aspects.  

Currently I am investigating the ecology and conservation implications of migration and movement of diverse organisms: penguins, salamanders, and invasive plants. I and my colleagues have found that penguins in the South Atlantic travel great distances-hundreds of kilometers-to forage during the breeding season, and even greater distances during migration.  This finding raises questions relating to the ecology of these marine birds (Why do they travel so far? What determines where they go?), as well as conservation issues (How to conserve a species that is so wide ranging?). Similarly, I am researching the movement and metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander, a federally listed endangered species to learn more about the species' ecology and how to better conserve it in its diminishing habitat.  In a different way, invasive plants also "move," and I am investigating the patterns of spread of non-native invasive trees. Ultimately, this work may have applications in the control of environmentally destructive invasive species.

Other areas in which I have research interest are various topics in behavioral ecology such as habitat selection and mate choice in penguins, effectiveness of GIS-based conservation planning, and human biodiversity preferences.  Most of my research is field-oriented, and makes use of both high- and low-tech techniques. I welcome participation in my research by graduate students and undergraduates. 

Selected Publications

Stokes, D.L.  2007.  Things we like: Human preferences among similar organisms and implications for conservation. Human Ecology 35: 361-369.

Boersma, P.D., Rebstock, G.A., Stokes, D/L/ and Majluf, P. 2007. Oceans apart: conservation models for two temperate penguin species shaped by the marine environment. Marine Ecology Progress Series 335:217-225.

Stokes, D. L. 2006.  Conservators of experience.  BioScience 56: 6-7.

Boersma, P.D., Rebstock, G.A., and D.L. Stokes.  2004.  Why penguin eggshells are thick.  The Auk 121: 148-155.

Stokes, D.L., and P.H. Morrison.  2003.  GIS-based conservation planning: a powerful tool... to be used with care.  Conservation in Practice 4: 38-41.

Stokes, D.L., and P.D. Boersma. 2000.  Nesting density and reproductive success of a colonial seabird. Ecology 81: 2878-2891.