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Scott, Peter

Associate Professor

Ph.D., Louisiana State University

Phone: 812-237-2403
Office: Science Building 287F scott.jpg

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Research Interests: plant-pollinator interactions; ornithology.

I am an ecologist with research specialties in plant pollination biology and ornithology.  My students and I are currently studying plant-pollinator interactions in deciduous forests and oak savannas of Indiana. My questions are conservation-related: what is the current state of pollination service in natural habitats of the American Midwest?  Are most plant species adequately pollinated? Conversely, are insects that depend on floral foods adequately supported? Are flowers that specialize on particular pollinators (for example, on bumblebees) more at risk than generalized flowers that attract a variety of bees and flies? How does agriculture impact the native bee community?  These questions are shared by pollination ecologists worldwide, and Indiana landscapes are good natural laboratories in which to study them. The recent steep decline of European honeybees in our region makes it an interesting time to study pollination.

I also study bird communities of Indiana. With colleague Professor Steven Lima and students, I study the productivity of reclaimed coal mines for grassland and marsh birds. I coordinate the state’s Breeding Bird Atlas studies for counties near Terre Haute, and am at work, with four collaborators, on a field guide to Indiana birds. I maintain a long-standing interest in hummingbird biology, especially their relationships with nectar plants.

Selected Publications

Habitats and Ecological Communities of Indiana: Presettlement to Present, ed. J. O. Whitaker, Jr., and C. J. Amlaner, Jr.  Associate Editors: G. R. Parker, P.E. Scott, & M. T. Jackson.  (2012)  Indiana University Press and Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources. 

Grundel R, Jean RP, Frohnapple K, Glowacki G, Scott PE, Pavlovic NB (2010) Floral and nesting resources, habitat structure, and fire influence bee distribution across an open-forest gradient.  Ecological Applications 20: 1678-1692.

Dailey, T.B., and P.E. Scott. (2006) Spring nectar sources for solitary bees and flies in a landscape of deciduous forest and agricultural fields: production, variability, and consumption.  Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 133: 535-547.

Block, W.M., Ganey, J.L., Scott, P.E., and R. King. (2005) Prey ecology of Mexican spotted owls in pine-oak forests of northern Arizona.  Journal of Wildlife Management 69: 618-629.

Scott, P.E., and S.L. Lima. (2004) Exotic grasslands on reclaimed midwestern coal mines: an ornithological perspective.  Weed Technology 18: 1518-1521.

Scott, P.E.  (2004) Timing of Agave palmeri flowering and nectar-feeding bat visitation in the Peloncillos and Chiricahua Mountains.  Southwestern Naturalist 49: 425-434. 

Scott, P.E., DeVault, T.L., Bajema, R.A., and S.L. Lima. (2002) Grassland vegetation and bird abundances on reclaimed midwestern coal mines. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30: 1006-1014.

DeVault, T.L., Scott, P.E., Bajema, R.A., and S.L. Lima. (2002) Breeding bird communities of reclaimed coal mine grasslands in the American Midwest. Journal of Field Ornithology 73: 268-275. 

Aigner, P., and P.E. Scott. (2002) Use and pollination of a hawkmoth flower (Nicotiana attenuata) by migrant hummingbirds. Southwestern Naturalist 47: 1-11. 

Scobell, S.A., and P.E. Scott. (2002) Visitors and floral traits of a hummingbird-adapted cactus (Echinocereus coccineus) show only minor variation along an elevational gradient. American Midland Naturalist 147: 1-15.