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David Holway


Research in our lab is currently divided into two areas:

Biological invasions:

The introduction of species into new environments has increasingly become an economically costly and environmentally disruptive phenomenon. Our research on invasions focuses on social insects (ants, bees and wasps) and primarily encompasses the following questions. (i) What factors control susceptibility to invasion? (ii) What accounts for how invasion impacts change in magnitude over time? (iii) Why do native species assemblages differ in their ability to recover following experimental invader removal?

Pollination services:

Declining pollinator populations threaten to compromise the integrity of pollination services in both agricultural and non-managed systems. Our research addresses this general issue from the following perspectives. (i) To what degree does land-use intensification affect pollinator assemblages? (ii) To what extent do pollinator declines compromise pollination services? (iii) How do non-native species interact with native pollinators, and when do these interactions negatively impact pollination services?

Select Publications

  • Achury R, Holway DA, Suarez AV. Pervasive and persistent effects of invasion and fragmentation on native ant assemblages. Ecology, in press.
  • Naughton I, C. Boser, N.D. Tsutsui, and D.A. Holway. Direct evidence of native ant displacement by the Argentine ant in island ecosystems. Biological Invasions, in press.
  • Hung J., J.M. Kingston, A. Lee, D.A. Holway & J.R. Kohn. 2019. Non-native honey bees disproportionately dominate abundant floral resources in a hotspot of pollinator diversity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286:20182901.
  • Hung, J., J.S. Ascher, J.A. Davids & D.A. Holway. 2019. Ecological filtering in scrub fragments shapes the taxonomic and functional structure of native bee assemblages. Ecology 100:e02654.
  • Menke, S.B., P.S. Ward & D.A. Holway. 2018. Long-term record of Argentine ant invasions reveals enduring ecological impacts. Ecology, 99:1194–1202.
  • Hung, J., J.M. Kingston, M. Albrecht, D.A. Holway & J.R. Kohn. 2018. The worldwide importance of honey bees as pollinators in natural habitats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 285: 20172140.
  • Nabors, A.J., H.J. Cen, K-L.J. Hung, J.R. Kohn & D.A. Holway. 2018. The effect of removing numerically dominant, non-native honey bees on seed set of a native plant. Oecologia 186:281-289.
  • Hung, J., J.S. Ascher & D.A. Holway. 2017. Urbanization-induced habitat fragmentation erodes multiple components of temporal diversity in a Southern California native bee assemblage. PLoS One 12:e0184136.
  • Schochet, A.B., K-L J. Hung, & D.A. Holway. 2016. Bumble bee species exhibit divergent responses to urbanization in a Southern California landscape. Ecological Entomology 41:685-692.
  • Hanna, C., I. Naughton, C. Boser & D.A. Holway. 2015. Testing the effects of ant invasions on non-ant arthropods with high-resolution taxonomic data. Ecological Applications 25:1841-1850.
  • LeVan, K.E. & D.A. Holway. 2015. Ant-aphid interactions increase ant floral visitation and reduce plant reproduction via decreased pollinator visitation. Ecology 96:1620-1630.
  • Hanna, C., I. Naughton, C. Boser, R. Alarcón, K-L J. Hung, & D.A. Holway. 2015. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces bee visitation and plant seed set. Ecology 96:222-230.


David Holway received a B.A. in zoology from UC Berkeley and a Ph.D in biology from the University of Utah. He joined the UC San Diego faculty in 2001 and has served as campus director of the UC Natural Reserve System and chair of the section of Ecology, Behavior & Evolution.