Professional Information


Evolutionary Biology and Animal Behavior
Ph.D, State University of New York at Buffalo

Advisement Area



Burrowing owls in Southwest Utah
Student Involvement:
2004: Brent Davis, Clint Nielson, James Dean Moore
2003: Louis Bailey, Tiffany Bradshaw, Tessie Leany, James Moore, Clint Nielson
2002: Cole Robinson, Megan Freestone, Chase Williams, Oasee Malhotra
2001: Cole Robinson
2000: Gabrielle Diamond, Joel Diamond     

Synopsis: Burrowing owls (Athene curnicularia) are a state-sensitive species. Pairs of owls are dependent on other fossorial mammals for establishing burrows for breeding and individuals may be additionally prone to ground predators and human disturbance. Knowledge about return rates of individuals and reproductive success in Utah is not currently well known; this information is important for the future management of sensitive populations in Utah. This study currently is focused on locating and monitoring individuals and reporting reproductive success for pairs.

Misconceptions about Evolution
Student Involvement:
2001: Cole Robinson, Jon Christiansen, T.J. Jensen     

Synopsis: By the time a student enters a university, the student likely has to some degree been exposed to the subject of evolution. Many misconceptions surround this subject, including those that might originate from the notion that evolutionary theory runs counter to religious convictions. The purpose of this research was to determine S.U.U. students' perceptions and understanding of evolution. Specifically, this research team determined 1) how prevalent misconceptions are, 2) if evolution subject matter taught at the university helps to clear those misconceptions, and 3) how well students in different disciplines understand the theory of evolution.


  • Chuang, H. C. 2003 . Teaching evolution: attitudes and strategies of educators in Utah . The American Biology Teacher 65 (9): 669-674.
  • Chuang-Dobbs, H. C., M. S. Webster, and R. T. Holmes. 2001. Paternity and parental care in the black-throated blue warbler Dendroica caerulescens. Animal Behaviour 62 (1): 83-92.
  • Chuang-Dobbs, H. C., M. S. Webster, and R. T. Holmes. 2001. The effectiveness of mate guarding by male black-throated blue warblers. Behavioral Ecology 12: 541-546.
  • Chuang, H. C. 2001. Teaching evolution in Utah: attitudes, challenges, and strategies. Southwest Scholar 1: 13-34.
  • Webster, M. S., H. C. Chuang-Dobbs, and R. T. Holmes. 2001. Microsatellite identification of extra-pair sires in a socially monogamous songbird. Behavioral Ecology 12 (4): 439-446.
  • Chuang, H. C., M. S. Webster, and R. T. Holmes. 1999. Extra pair paternity and local synchrony in the Black-throated Blue Warbler. Auk 116 (3): 726-736.