I am interested in the behavioral ecology of animals. The interaction of the animals with their environment, and how they approach and "solve" particular challenges imposed by both biotic and abiotic factors are crucial to understanding their abilities. Additionally, my research aims to unravel how their morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations have evolved.
I have done research with several animal groups; particularly with birds, wasps, spiders, and harvestmen. My dissertation research deals with understanding the biomechanical and behavioral implications of autotomy -the voluntary release of legs- in locomotion, foraging, ecology, courtship and fitness in a handful of daddy long-legs species, from tropical (Costa Rica and Panamá) and temperate regions (California).
B.S. Biology, Universidad de Costa Rica, 2009
M.Sc. Biology, Universidad de Costa Rica, 2013
Research Interests / Specializations:
Behavioral Ecology, Biomechanics, Tropical Biology, Animal Communication and Cognition, Spiders, Harvestmen
Emberts, Z., I. Escalante, and W. Bateman. 2019. The ecology and evolution of autotomy. Biological Reviews 94: 1881-1896.
2019. Escalante, I., M.A. Badger, and D.O. Elias. Variation in movement: multiple locomotor gaits in Neotropical harvestmen. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 127: 493-507.
2016. Domínguez, M., I. Escalante, et al. Losing legs and walking hard: effects of autotomy and substrate roughness in the locomotion of Prionostemma spp. harvestmen. Journal of Arachnology 44: 76-82
2015. Escalante, I. Predatory behaviour is plastic according to prey difficulty in naïve spiderlings. Journal of Insect Behavior 28: 635-650
2015. Escalante, I., A. Aisenberg, & F.G. Costa. Risky behaviors by the host could favor araneophagy of the spitting spider Scytodes globula on the hacklemesh weaver Metaltella simoni. Journal of Ethology 33: 125-136
Escalante, I., A. Albín & A. Aisenberg. 2013. Lacking sensory (rather that locomotive) legs affects locomotion but not food detection in the harvestman Holmbergiana weyenberghi. Canadian Journal of Zoology 91: 726-731
2013. Escalante, I. Ontogenetic and sexual differences in exploration and web construction in the spider Physocyclus globosus (Pholcidae). Arachnology 16: 61-67
Honors and Awards
Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award. Granted by the GSI Teaching and Resources Center at the Graduate Division, UC Berkeley. 2019.
Best Student talk in Ecology and Evolution. 5th Latino American Arachnological Congress. Brazil, December 2017.