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David Pearson

David Pearson

Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287-4501


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Research Professor, School of Life Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Dr. Pearson's research is focused on the interaction of history and ecology in structuring communities. He uses biogeographical, phylogenetic and ecological hypotheses to test predictions of species co-occurrence patterns. These patterns are then applied to basic community structure studies as well as to determining priority areas for conservation. Although he has worked on a breadth of organisms from crabs and insects to Paramecium and birds, and a range of habitat types from coral atolls to desert grasslands, his current research concentrates on a small group of insects, tiger beetles, in tropical lowland rain forests around the world. Dr. Pearson also works on developing new techniques for environmental education, especially in South America.


  • PhD, University of Washington, 1973
  • MS, Louisiana State University, 1969
  • BS, Pacific Lutheran University, 1967


Journal Articles


Carroll, S. S. and D. L. Pearson. 1997. Spatial modeling of butterfly species diversity using tiger beetles as a bioindicator taxon.. Ecological Applications

Rodriguez, J. P., D. L. Pearson and R. Barrera. 1997. The use of tiger beetles as bioindicators of tropical forest degradation and regeneration. Biological Conservation


Pearson, D. L. 1994. Selecting indicator taxa for the quantitative assessment of biodiversity. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B 75-79.


Pearson, D. L. and F. Cassola. 1992. World-wide species richness patterns of tiger beetles (Coleoptera: Cicindelidae); indicator taxon for biodiversity and conservation studies.. Conservation Biology 376-391.


Pearson, D. L. 1991. A basis for developing broader generalizations of bird community structure and species occurrence.. Proceedings 20th International Congress of Ornithology 1462-1469.



Hostetler, M. E., K. Knowles-Yanez, R. D. Ohmart and D. Pearson. 1999. Land use and bird distributions in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Poster presented at the 22 January 1999, CAP LTER First Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe.