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Allison Shaw

Associate Professor


Ph.D., Princeton University, 2012


I aim to understand how organisms use long-distance movement (migration and dispersal) to adapt to their environments, and what consequences movement has for individuals, populations, and species interactions. My work tackles general questions across the topics of dispersal, animal migration, disease ecology, conservation, and invasion biology. My main research approach is developing conceptual and mathematical theory, although always driven by the goal of gaining a deeper insight into the underlying biology.

Theory is only as robust as its underlying assumptions, which can include both explicitly-stated and implicitly-presumed ones. In biology, implicit assumptions often sneak into theory based on the particular systems (e.g., ecosystem type, taxonomic group) the theorist is most familiar with. In my work I aim to construct theory that can span taxonomic and ecosystem barriers, often initially motivated by biological examples that do not fit well with assumptions of existing theory.


Complex systems, Disease Ecology, Dispersal, Evolution of behavior, Invasion biology, Life history evolution, Migration, Mutualisms, Population dynamics, Sex-based differences, Theoretical ecology

Selected Publications

Please see my Google Scholar Page 

Additional Links

Shaw Lab Homepage


412 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108