Patricia Jones

Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Bowdoin College Scientific Station on Kent Island

Teaching this semester

BIOL 3308/ENVS 3308. Research in Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

Focuses on research methods in field biology, reading the primary literature, and training in scientific writing and presentation, careers in ecology, and next steps to pursuing those careers. Prepares students for productive future research experiences in areas of ecology, marine biology, animal behavior, and evolution. Students will focus on a research topic of their interest, for which they will read the primary literature, design experiments, produce a draft of a scientific paper, deepen their understanding of statistics and present their proposed research. Includes field excursions to marine and terrestrial environments.

Teaching next semester

BIOL 2327/ENVS 2227. Ecology

Ecology, the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment, incorporates topics from how organisms cope with environmental stressors to global carbon cycling. Addresses current questions in ecology, from global change to food security to invasive species. Lectures, labs, primary, and popular literature emphasize how scientists use the tenets of ecology to address current environmental issues. Labs, excursions, and student research include ecological studies of plant-insect interactions, collection of long-term data on salamander populations, and emphasis on the natural history of mid-coast Maine. Students have the opportunity to take an optional field trip to the Bowdoin Scientific Station on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy.

I am a behavioral ecologists working in diverse systems. My research examines the factors that influence animal foraging decisions including perception, learning, social learning, and memory. I am particularly fascinated by the role of animal cognition in shaping ecological communities. Current projects are focused on how bee behavior influences pollination ecology.


  • B.A., Biological Sciences & History of Art, Cornell
  • Ph.D., Integrative Biology, University of Texas; Austin

Personal Website

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Jones P.L., Agrawal A.A. 2017. Learning in insect pollinators and herbivores. Annual Review of Entomology. 62: 53-71.

Jones P.L., Agrawal A.A. 2016. Consequences of toxic secondary compounds in nectar for mutualist bees and antagonist butterflies. Ecology. 97: 2570-2579.

Falk J.J., ter Hofstede H.M., Jones P.L., Dixon M.M., Faure P.A., Kalko E.K.V., Page R.A.. 2015 Sensory-based niche partitioning in a multiple predator–multiple prey community. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 282: 1-9.

Jones P.L., Ryan M.J., Chittka L. 2015. The influence of past experience with flower reward quality on social learning in bumblebees. Animal Behaviour. 101: 11-18. 

Halfwerk W., Dixon M.M., Ottens K., Taylor R.C., Ryan M.J., Page, R.A., Jones P.L. 2014. Risks of multimodal signaling: bat predators attend to dynamic motion in frog sexual displays. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217: 3038-3044.

Halfwerk W., Jones P.L., Taylor R.C., Ryan M.J., Page R.A. 2014. Risky ripples allow bats and frogs to eavesdrop on a multisensory sexual display. Science. 343(6169): 413-416.

Jones P.L., Ryan M.J., Page R.A. 2014. Population and seasonal variation in response to prey calls by an eavesdropping bat. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology. 68(4): 605-615.

Jones P.L., Flores V., Ryan M.J., Page R.A. 2013. When to approach novel prey? Social learning strategies in frog-eating bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. 280: 1-6.

Jones P.L., Farris H.E., Ryan M.J., Page R.A. 2013. Do frog-eating bats perceptually bind the complex components of frog calls? Journal of Comparative Physiology A. 199(4): 279-283.

Jones P.L., Page R.P., Hartbauer M., Siemers B.M. 2011. Behavioral evidence for eavesdropping on prey song in two Palearctic sibling bat species. Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology. 65: 333–340.

Jones P.L., Shulman M.J. 2008. Subtidal-Intertidal trophic links: American lobsters [Homarus americanus (Milne-Edwards)] forage in the intertidal zone on nocturnal high tides. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology & Ecology. 361(2): 98-103.

Mooney K.A., Jones P.L., Agrawal A.A. 2008. Coexisting congeners: demography, competition, and interactions with cardenolides for two milkweed feeding aphids. Oikos. 117(3): 450-458.

Book Chapters

Page R.A., Jones P.L. 2016. Overcoming sensory uncertainty: factors affecting foraging decisions in frog-eating bats. Chapter 11 in Psychological Mechanisms in Animal Communication. M.A. Bee, C.T. Miller (eds.). Springer International Publishing. 

Jones P.L., Page R.A., Ratcliffe J.M. 2016. To scream or to listen? Prey detection and discrimination in animal-eating bats. Chapter 4 in Bat Bioacoustics, Springer Handbook of Acoustics.