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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Faculty & Staff Directory

John Swallow, Ph.D.

Dr. John Swallow

Professor, Department Chair


Office Location: SI 2071 C

Phone: (303) 556-6154

Fax: (303) 556-4352

​2015 Spring Semester Office Hours:

Expertise: Experimental Comparative Physiology, Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behavior

The Swallow Lab website


Education & Degrees

Ph.D., Zoology, University of Wisconsin, 1994-1998

M.S., Conservation Biology & Sustainable Development, University of Wisconson, 1992-1994

B.A., Utah State University, Biology and Liberal Arts and Sciences with Korean Minor, 1989-1992


My research fits under the broad context of evolutionary physiology, focusing largely on how morphology, physiology, and behavior evolve together as an integrated phenotype. One area of my research interests focuses on correlated evolution between exercise physiology and locomotor behavior because the performance abilities of animals are thought to be central to their survival and fitness. More recently, I have initiated research investigating how evolution driven by sexual selection (e.g. ornamentation that serves as secondary sexual signals) conflicts with locomotor performance and, ultimately, fitness using stalk-eyed flies as a model system. Sexual selection provides a selective engine with the ability to drive large changes in suites of behavioral, physiological and morphological characters with the potential for rapid speciation. Research includes ecological, organismal, biomechanical and behavioral approaches.

Selected Publications

Worthington, A.M.*, C. M. Burns*, and J.G. Swallow. 2012. Size matters, but so does shape: Quantifying complex shape changes in a sexually selected trait in stalk-eyed flies (Diptera:Diopsidae) Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 104-113.
Egge, A. R.* and John G. Swallow. 2011. Previous experience matters in the stalk-eyed fly, Teleopsis dalmanni. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 1731-1737.
Egge, A.R.*, Y. Brandt, J.G. Swallow. 2011. Sequential analysis of aggressive interactions in the stalk-eyed fly Teleopsis dalmanni. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 65: 369-379.
Husak, J.F., G. Ribak, G.S. Wilkinson, and J.G. Swallow. 2011. Compensation for exaggerated eyestalks in stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae). Functional Ecology 25: 608-616.
Husak, J.F., G. Ribak, G.S. Wilkinson, and J.G. Swallow. 2011. Sexual dimorphism in wing beat frequency in relation to eye span in stalk-eyed flies (Diopsidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
104: 670-679.
Husak, J.F. and J.G. Swallow. 2011. Compensatory traits and the evolution of male ornaments.
Behaviour 148: 1-29.
Worthington, A.M.* and J.G. Swallow. 2011. Using sequential analysis to explore sex differences in anti-predator behavior of stalk-eyed flies. Ethology 117: 829-837.
Ribak, G, J.G Swallow, and D.R. Jones. 2010. Drag-based ‘hovering’ in diving ducks: the hydrodynamics and energetic cost of staying near the bottom. PLoS ONE
Swallow, J.G., A.K. Wroblewska*, R.P. Waters, K.J. Renner, S.L. Britton, and L.G. Koch. 2010. Food consumption and body composition in rats selected for high intrinsic endurance capacity.  Journal of Applied Physiology 109: 778 - 785.
 Waters, R.P.*, K.J. Renner, C.H. Summers, M.L. Watt, G.L. Foster, L.G. Koch, S.L. Britton, and J.G. Swallow. 2010. Genetic selection for endurance capacity modifies female endocrine stress responsiveness and coping ability. Brain Research 1357: 53-61.
Worthington, A.M. * and J.G. Swallow. 2010. Gender differences in survival and anti-predatory behavior in stalk-eyed flies. Behavioral Ecology 21: 759 - 766.
Brandt, Y. and J.G. Swallow. 2009. Do the elongated eye stalks of diopsid flies facilitate rival assessment? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63:1243-1246.
Ribak, G., A.R. Egge*, and J.G. Swallow. 2009. Saccadic head rotations during walking in the stalk-eyed fly (Cyrtodiopsis dalmanni). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 276:1643-1649.
Ribak, G., M.L. Pitts*, G.S. Wilkinson, and J.G. Swallow. 2009. Wing shape, wing size and sexual-dimorphism in eye-span in stalk-eyed flies. (Diopsidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 98:860-871.
Swallow, J.G., J. P. Hayes, P. Koteja, T. Garland, Jr. 2009. Selection experiments and experimental evolution of performance and physiology. In Garland, T., Jr., and M. R. Rose, eds. 2009. Experimental evolution: concepts, methods, and applications of selection experiments. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

​2013 Fall Semester - BIOL 4250/5250, Mechanisms of Animal Behavior