Justin D. Yeakel bio photo

Justin D. Yeakel

Assistant professor at UC-Merced; Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute

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Curriculum Vitae

Justin Douglas Yeakel
Assistant Professor
School of Natural Sciences
University of California, Merced
Email: jdyeakel at gmail.com
Google Scholar

Past Positions

2014–17: Omidyar Fellow, Santa Fe Institute
Santa Fe, New Mexico
2012–14: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University
Advisor: Jon Moore
2006–12: Ph.D. Dept. Ecology and Evol. Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz
Thesis- The structure of mammalian food webs: Interpreting, predicting, and updating estimates of species interactions in paleontological and modern communities.
Advisor Troika: Paul Koch, Marc Mangel, Jim Estes
External Committee Member- Paulo R. Guimaraes Jr.
2000–04: Bachelors of Science, Kent State University



Invited Seminars

  • University of California, Merced. Ecological networks over time and space: from species interactions to community dynamics. March 2014.
  • University of New Mexico. Ecological networks over time and space: from species interactions to community dynamics. February 2014.
  • Santa Fe Institute. The emergence and evolution of food webs over space and time. January 2014.
  • Oregon State University. Collapse of an ecological network: reconstructing the decline of an Ancient Egyptian food web. January 2014.
  • University of Wyoming. Synchronization, stability, and flow in structured metapopulations. December 2013.
  • University of Chicago. Collapse of an Ancient Egyptian food web. December 2013.
  • Washington State University, Pullman. Ecological networks over time and space: from species interaction to community dynamics. June, 2013.
  • University of California, Santa Cruz. Estimating the degree of compensation from short-term fluctuations in fish biomass. November, 2012.
  • University of Wyoming. Unraveling an ecological network: Reconstructing the decline of ancient Egyptian food webs. September, 2012
  • Simon Fraser University. The structure of Mammoth-Steppe food-webs: ecological coherence and the dietary habits of Neanderthals. November, 2011.
  • Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Dresden Germany. The structure of modern and Pleistocene predator-prey networks. August, 2010.
  • University of California, Berkeley. The adaptive response of grazing monkeys to aridification in Africa. October, 2007.
  • Kent State University. Paleo-dietary ecology: Did hominins utilize underground storage organs? November, 2006.

Fellowships and Grants

  • Omidyar Postdoctoral Fellowship, Santa Fe Institute; June 2014 $210,000
  • Regents Fellowship (UCSC): Awarded 2011 $30000
  • UCSC Dissertation-Year Fellowship: Runner-Up; Spring, 2011
  • Deans Fellowship (UCSC): Awarded 2010 $30000
  • Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics (IGPP) Grant; Winter 2008 $5,000
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Travel Award; Fall 2007 $300
  • 2007 UCSC Graduate Research Symposium: Honorable Mention
  • Committee on Research Grant- SRG (ghostwriter w/ PL Koch) (Spring 2007) $11,960
  • Committee on Research Grant- FRG (ghostwriter w/ NJ Dominy) (Spring 2007) $2,500
  • Friends of Long Marine Lab Research Grant (Fall 2006) $800
  • Department of Anthropology Internal Research Grant (Fall 2006) $800
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; 2006 $90000

Professional and Meeting Presentations

  • Dynamics Of and On Networks. Santa Fe Institute. December 2014 (Talk)
  • Geological Society of America. October 2014
  • Networks on Networks Working Group. Göttingen, Germany. September 2014 (Talk)
  • IDEAS Symposium; Simon Fraser University. January 2014 (Talk)
  • Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. August 2013 (Talk)
  • IDEAS Symposium; Simon Fraser University. December 2012 (Talk)
  • Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. August 2012 (Talk)
  • Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. August 2011 (Talk)
  • American Fisheries Society. September 2011 (Talk)
  • 2010 Species Interaction Workshop; Santa Cruz, CA. December 2010 (Talk)
  • UCSC Graduate Research Symposium. May 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 (Talk)
  • 2009 Species Interaction Workshop; Stanford CA. December 2009 (Talk)
  • Carnivore Conference; Defenders of Wildlife. November 2009 (Talk)
  • Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. August 2009 (Talk)
  • 26th Annual Physiological Ecology Meeting. June 2008 (Talk)
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists. April 2008 (Poster)
  • Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology. Jan. 2008 (Talk)
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Oct. 2007 (Talk)
  • American Association of Physical Anthropologists. March 2007 (Talk)
  • UCSC Plant Sciences Symposium. Feb. 2007, 2009 (Talk)
  • Applications of Stable Isotope Techniques to Ecological Studies. August 2006 (Poster)
  • Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Oct. 2005 (Talk)

Service – Refereed Journals

  • Nature Communications
  • Ecology Letters
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • Methods in Ecology and Evolution
  • Fisheries Research
  • Theoretical Ecology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Biological Conservation
  • IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics
  • Ecography
  • Oecologia
  • Oikos
  • Canadian Journal of Zoology
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
  • PloS One
  • Journal of Archaeological Science

Service – Refereed Grant Agencies

  • European Research Council (2014)


  • Nature News
    • (2013) “Ancient art fills in Egypt’s ecological history”
    • (2009) “Lions’ taste for human flesh dissected”
    • (2007) “Human ancestors went underground for dinner”
  • Science News
    • (2014) “Clues to animal extinctions found on the walls of Egyptian tombs”
    • (2009) “A body count for two man-eating lions”
  • Smithsonian (2014) “Egypt’s mammal extinctions tracked through 6000 years of art”
  • NBC News (2014) “Ancient Egyptian art opens window on mammal extinctions”
  • Popular Archeology (2014) “Study shows how ecology transformed through 6000 years of Egyptian history”
  • Discovery News
  • Chicago Sun Times
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Science Daily
  • Telegraph (UK)
  • San Francisco Chronicle (2007) “UC student roots out clues to pre-human species’ diets”
  • Archaeology Magazine
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • National Public Radio: All Things Considered
  • CBC Radio: As It Happens
  • Santa Cruz KZSC