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David Holway


The introduction of species into new environments has increasingly become an economically costly and environmentally destructive phenomenon. By integrating an understanding of ecology, behavior and genetics, we aim to develop a more quantitative understanding of biological invasions. Research topics currently under investigation include efforts (1) to quantify the factors controlling susceptibility to invasion, (2) to uncover the mechanisms involved in the displacement of native species, and (3) to determine how mutualistic interactions between invaders and other organisms disrupt existing mutualisms and contribute to invasion success.

Holway Cover


  • LeVan, K.E. & D.A Holway. Ant-aphid interactions increase ant floral visitation and reduce plant reproduction via decreased pollinator visitation. Ecology, In press.
  • Hanna, C., I. Naughton, C. Boser, R. Alarcón, K-L J. Hung, & D.A Holway. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set. Ecology, In press.
  • LeVan, K.E., K-L.J.Hung, K.R. McCann, J. Ludka & D.A Holway. 2014. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces pollinator visitation and seed set in the coast barrel cactus, Ferocactus viridescens. Oecologia 174:163-171.
  • Wilder, S.M., D. A. Holway, A.V. Suarez, E.G. LeBrun & M.D. Eubanks. (2011). Intercontinental differences in resource use reveal the importance of mutualisms in fire ant invasions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:20639-20644.
  • Wilder, S.M., D.A. Holway, A.V. Suarez & M.D. Eubanks (2011). Macronutrient content of plant-based food affects growth of a carnivorous arthropod. Ecology 92:325-332.
  • Wilson, E.E, C. Sidhu, K.E. LeVan & D.A. Holway (2010). Pollen foraging behavior of solitary Hawaiian bees revealed through molecular pollen analysis. Molecular Ecology 19:4823-4829.
  • Wilson, E.E. & D.A. Holway (2010). Multiple mechanisms underlie displacement of solitary Hawaiian Hymenoptera by an invasive social wasp. Ecology 91:3294-3302.
  • Kay, A.D., T. Zumbusch, J.L. Heinen, T.C. Marsh, & D.A. Holway (2010).Nutrition and interference competition have interactive effects on thebehavior and performance of Argentine ants. Ecology 91:57-64.
  • Wolkovich, E.M., D.T. Bolger and D.A. Holway (2009). Complex responsesby ground arthropods to invasive grass litter in a Mediterranean scrubecosystem. Oecologia 161:697-708.
  • Wilson, E.E., L.M. Mullen and D.A. Holway (2009). Life historyplasticity magnifies the ecological effects of a social wasp invasion.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:12809-12813.
  • Menke, S.B., D.A. Holway, R.N. Fisher and W. Jetz (2009). Characterizing and predicting species distributions across environments and scales: Argentine ant occurrences in the eye of the beholder. Global Ecology and Biogeography 18:50-63.
  • Suarez, A.V., D.A. Holway and N. D. Tsutsui (2008). Genetics of acolonizing species: the invasive Argentine ant. American Naturalist172:S72-S84.
  • Tillberg, C.V., D.A. Holway, E.G. LeBrun and A.V. Suarez (2007). Trophic ecology of Argentine ants in their native and introduced ranges. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104:20856-20861.
  • Menke, S.B., R.N. Fisher, W. Jetz and D.A. Holway (2007). Biotic and abiotic controls of Argentine ant invasion success at local and landscape scales. Ecology 88:3164-3175.
  • Grover, C.D., A.D. Kay, J.A. Monson, T.C. Marsh and D.A. Holway (2007). Linking nutrition and behavioral dominance: carbohydrate scarcity limits aggression and activity in Argentine ants. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B 274:2951-2957.
  • LeBrun, E.G., C.V. Tillberg, A.V. Suarez, P. Folgarait, C.R. Smith and D.A. Holway (2007). An experimental study of competition between fire ants and Argentine ants in their native range. Ecology 88:63-75 (Cover article).
  • Thomas, M.L., C.M. Payne, A.V. Suarez, N.D. Tsutsui and D.A. Holway (2006). When supercolonies collide: territorial aggression in an invasive and unicolonial social insect. Molecular Ecology 15:4303-4315.
  • Menke, S.B. and D.A. Holway (2006). Abiotic factors control invasion by ants at the community scale. Journal of Animal Ecology 75:368-376.
  • Holway, D.A. and A.V. Suarez (2006). Homogenization of ant communities in mediterranean California: the effects of urbanization and invasion. Biological Conservation 127:319-326.
  • Suarez, A.V., D.A. Holway and P.S. Ward (2005). The role of opportunity in the unintentional introduction of non-native ants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102:17032-17035 (Cover article).


David Holway received a B.A. in zoology from UC Berkeley in 1989 and a Ph.D in biology from the University of Utah in 1997. His postdoctoral research at UC San Diego was supported by grants from the US Department of Agriculture.