My interests are varied, including long-term evolutionary trends, current issues in biodiversity conservation and as a related topic invasive species. Generally I’m interested in how organisms invade new habitats and to what extent species distributions are caused by anthropogenic sources. For my dissertations and within an evolutionary framework, I study how marine and anadromous stickleback are readily able to invade and remain in freshwater streams and lakes as well as subsequent rapid evolution within those newly invaded habitats. On an ecological scale, I study how key life historical and morphological traits are shaped by the environment (plasticity). Outside of academia, my work centers on eradiation/control of invasive species- primarily in aquatic habitats.
I also am interested in the transfer of scientific knowledge (technologies) to solving ecological problems (i.e., applied ecology) outside of the academic arena; though rooted strongly in scientific ecological principles. Endemic species are particularly interesting from a conservation perspective. As an undergraduate I worked with Dr. John Baker on an EIS exploring possible impacts of hydropower generation on population sizes and distributions of endemic Hawai’ian gobies and native freshwater shrimp. More recently, I have focused on local issues with an emphasis on invasive, non-native freshwater plants in Adirondack Mountain lakes (and their impact on native species). Future work will include invasive marine organisms and possible control/eradication techniques in geographically wide-scale invasions. Coral reefs and intertidal communities are among the most biologically diverse habitats in marine environments. However, warming trends and globalized economies (transport of goods) has lead to a proliferation of species introductions and subsequent invasions and often the displacement or extirpation of native species. While many conclude little to nothing can be done in such situations, we have scarcely even begun to explore the ecological interactions of the invaders in their new habitats and possible solutions to these problems (e.g., Lionfish introduction to Western Atlantic waters).
Heins, D.C., J.A. Baker, R.W. King, K. Lahti. (1995). Evaluation of ovum fixation and storage in three-spined stickleback. Journal of Fish Biology. 47, 923-925.
Cameron, S.A., J.B. Whitfield, C.L. Huslander, W.A. Cresko, S.B. Isenberg, R.W. King. (1996). Nesting Biology and Foraging Patterns of the Solitary Bee Melissodes rustica (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Northwest Arkansas. Kansas Journal of Entomology. 69,3
Baker, J.A., S.A. Foster, D.C. Heins, M.A. Bell & R.W. King (1998) Variation in female life-history traits among Alaskan populations of the threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus L. (Pisces: Gasterosteidae). Biol. .l of the Linnean Soc, 63: 141-159.
Baker, J.A., D.C. Heins, R.W. King, & S.A. Foster (in review) Rapid evolution of life-history traits in female threespine stickleback. Submitted to Proc. Royal. Soc. B.
Baker, J.A. and R.W. King. (in prep.) The Native Ichthyofauna of Hawaii’s Largest River, the Wailuku River, Hawaii Island, with comments on distributional limitations. To be submitted to Pacific Science.
King, R.W., &. J.A. Baker (in prep) Body shape variation in marine and anadromous threespine stickleback in Alaska. To be submitted toCan. J. of Fish. and Aqua. Sci..
King, R.W., & J.A. Baker, (in prep.) Life history variation in marine and anadromous threespine stickleback in Alaska. To be submitted toCan. J. of Fish. and Aqua. Sci..
King, R.W., J.A. Baker, and S.A. Foster (in prep.) Evolution of life histories in oceanic threespine stickleback. To be submitted to Evolution.
Lecturer: Clark University; Evolution, Conservation Biology
Lecturer: University of Connecticut, Storrs: Biology non-majors, Ecology, Modern Topics in Biology Honors Seminar, Writing Instructor forEcology, Evolution
Teaching Assistant: Clark University; Biology, Evolution, Cell Biology, Ecosystems Ecology, General Ecology