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EIU Department of Biology

Faculty and Staff Listing

Dr. Paul V Switzer, Professor

Office: 2160 - Life Sciences
Phone: 217-581-6951

I teach courses in organismal biology, diversity, and animal behavior, including BIO 1550G: General Biology II and BIO 4832: Animal Behavior. I have published over 60 research and teaching articles and my current research interests are in urban ecology and conservation, especially the ecology, behavior, and diversity of urban butterflies, as well as in how people connect with, and learn to care about, nature.

In 2018, I founded the Urban Butterfly Initiative (UBI) (a 501(c)3 non-profit) and I currently serve as its Director. UBI uses butterflies as an "ambassador to nature" to address its 3 main facets: Biodiversity & Conservation, Education & Outreach, and Science & Research. UBI works with public and private partners who seek to increase the biodiversity, beauty, and scientific awareness in their communities. It encourages the modification of existing urban green space to create beautiful, butterfly-friendly habitats, making them more ecologically-functional while also generating the benefits of urban beautification, tourism, education, and science.

For more about UBI please visit the UBI website.

EIU is a partner with UBI and many research and volunteer opportunities are available for EIU students, faculty, and staff...please contact me for more information!


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Frequently Taught Courses

BIO 1550G: General Biology II

BIO 4832: Animal Behavior


B.S. in Honors Biology from University of Illinois

Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from University of California-Davis

Selected Publications

See Dr. Switzer's ResearchGate page and his EIU Selected Works page for access to most of his publications.

*Denotes student authors

Lojewski, J.A.* and P.V. Switzer. (2015). The role of landmarks in territory maintenance by the black saddlebags dragonfly, Tramea lacerata. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 69(3):347-355.

Switzer, P.V. and R.M. Cumming*. (2014). The effectiveness of hand-removal for small-scale management of Japanese beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 107(1): 293-298.

Quinn, D.*, R. Mott*, E.K. Bollinger, and P.V. Switzer (2012). Size assortment in mixed-species groups of juvenile phase striped parrotfish (Scarus iserti) in the Bahamas. Ichthyological Research 59(3): 212-215.

Kowles, K.A.* and P.V. Switzer. (2012).  Dynamics of aggregation formation in Japanese beetles, Popillia japonica.  Journal of Insect Behavior 25: 207-221.

Switzer, P.V., C. Schoenick*, and P.C. Enstrom. (2009). Behavioral explanations underlying the lack of trap effectiveness for small-scale management of Japanese beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 102(3): 934-940.

Bollinger, E.K., P.V. Switzer, J. Pfammatter*, and J. Allen*. (2008). Group formation and anemone use in captively-reared anemonefish (Amphiprion frenatus). Ichthyological Research 55:394-398.

Switzer, P.V. (2007). Using dragonflies as common, flexible, and charismatic subjects for teaching the scientific process. American Biology Teacher 69(3): 158-162.

Saeki, Y.*, K.C. Kruse, and P.V. Switzer (2005).  Physiological costs of mate guarding in the Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman). Ethology 111: 863-877.

Switzer, P.V. and P.K. Eason (2003). Space use in territorial amberwing dragonflies: are residents female maximizers or neighbor minimizers?  Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 54(4): 321-328.

Bollinger, E.K. and P.V. Switzer. (2002). Modeling the impact of edge avoidance on avian nest densities in habitat fragments.  Ecological Applications 12(6): 1567-1575.

Switzer, P.V., J.A. Stamps, and M. Mangel. (2001). When should a territory resident attack?  Animal Behaviour 62(4): 749-759.

Baack, J.* and P.V. Switzer (2000). Alarm calls affect foraging behavior in Eastern chipmunks Tamias striatusEthology 106(12): 1057-1066.

Switzer, P.V. and G.F. Grether. (2000). Characteristics and possible functions of traditional night roosting aggregations in rubyspot damselflies. Behaviour137: 401-416.

Switzer, P.V. and W.M. Shriner. (2000)  Mimicking the scientific process in the upper-division science laboratory.  BioScience 50(2): 157-162.

Foin, T.C., S.P.D. Riley, A.L. Pawley, D.R. Ayres, T.M. Carlsen, P.J. Hodum, and P.V. Switzer. (1998). Improving recovery planning for threatened and endangered species.  BioScience 48(3): 177-184.

Cristol, D.A., P.V. Switzer, K.L. Johnson*, and L.S. Walke*.  (1997).  Crows do not use       automobiles as nutcrackers:  putting an oft-repeated anecdote to the test.  Auk 114(2): 296-298.

Switzer, P.V. (1993). Site fidelity in predictable and unpredictable habitats. Evolutionary Ecology  7: 533-555.




I encourage any students, community members, groups, or organizations who would like to become involved in the habitat creation, educational outreach to the community, and/or research aspects of the Urban Butterfly Initiative to contact me!

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Contact Information

Dept. of Biological Sciences

Life Sciences Building - 2070 600 Lincoln Avenue Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-7141

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