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


In prep
  • Gibert J.P., Yeakel J.D. Crossing the Turing Bifurcation: revisiting Levin 1974 and the consequences of spatial structure and movement for ecological dynamics.

  • Gibert J.P., Yeakel J.D. Eco-evolutionary dynamics and phenotypic tradeoffs lead to dissimilar trophic level-abundance food-web structure.

  • Yeakel J.D., Pires M., O’Donnell J., de Aguiar M., Guimaraes Jr. P.R., Gravel D., Gross T. Quantization of ecological interaction networks yields insights into the fundamental processes underlying community assembly.

  • Bhat U., Yeakel J.D. Resource investment strategies in uncertain and patchy environments.

  • Baiser B., Gravel D., Cirtwill A., Dunne J.A., Fahimpour A.K., Gilarranz L.J., Grochow J.A., Li D., Martinez N.D., McGrew A., Poisot T., Romnuk T.N., Stouffer D.B., Trotta1 L.B.,Valdovinos F.S., Williams R.J., Wood S.A., Yeakel J.D. Ecogeographical Rules and the Macroecology of Food Webs.


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