Leonor Ceballos-Meraz, M.S.


Resident Lecturer in Principles of Resource Management




Ph.D. candidate in Animal Behavior and Evolution
University of Melbourne (Australia)

M.S. in Natural Resources and Rural Development (concentration in Tropical Entomology)
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur - ECOSUR (Mexico)

B.S. in Biology
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México - UNAM (Mexico)


SFS 3740 Principles of Resource Management
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Faculty Profile

I am a biologist born in Mexico City. I graduated with a BS degree in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). That same year, I began my graduate studies at The College of the Southern Frontier (ECOSUR), Mexico, form which I obtained a MS in Natural Resources and Rural Development with special training in Tropical Entomology. Currently, I am completing my doctoral degree in Animal Behavior and Evolution at the University of Melbourne, Australia. During the last 15 years, my career has been associated with and had leadership roles in academia, teaching, consulting and research, both nationally and internationally. I have extensive field experience with multiple ecosystems in Mexico, Panama, and Australia. My various degrees, employment and field time have provided me with a strong academic and scientific background in animal diversity, behavior and evolution, and also in the use of the various equipment, technical procedures, regulations and materials related to specific research projects with a number of animal species including spiders, ants, moths, parasitoid wasps, beetles, frogs and sea turtles. Equally important, those experiences have helped me to create a professional network in United States, Mexico, and Central America with several government agencies, universities and private organizations, all related to different aspects of conservation strategies, nature reserves, socio-ecological systems and local ecological knowledge.

While teaching, I seek to stimulate an integrative approach in such a way that students are inspired and encouraged to think critically, and to provide them with both practical and theoretical tools to work with. I believe that stimulating critical thinking in students will encourage students towards careers in research and therefore add to our global scientific community.

Areas of Expertise

  • Tropical entomology and arachnology
  • Animal behavior and evolution
  • Conservation science
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Local ecological knowledge and sustainable development


Ceballos, L., Jones, T. M., & Elgar, M. A. (2015). Patterns of Sperm Transfer in the Golden Orb‐Weaver Nephila edulis. Ethology, 121(6), 617-624.
Ceballos, L., Hénaut, Y., & Elgar, M. A. (2012). Effects of male size and female dispersion on male mate-locating success in Nephila clavipes. Journal of Ethology 30: 93 – 100.
Ceballos, L., Hénaut, Y., & Legal, L. (2012). Prey selection in a nocturnal web building spider, Eriophora edax (Araneae: Araneidae). Ethology Ecology and Evolution 24: 1- 13.
Ceballos, L. & Nieto, N. (2008). Special Feature: Is Global Warming effecting spider populations? A case study from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Conservation Science 5: 5 – 6.
Ceballos, L., Hénaut, Y., & Legal, L. (2005). Foraging strategies of Eriophora edax (Araneae, Araneidae): a nocturnal orb-weaving spider. The Journal of Arachnology 33: 509 – 515.
Forthcoming: Ceballos, L., Hénaut, Y. & Lachaud, J.P. Differences in predatory strategies related to diurnal and nocturnal activities in Nephila clavipes (Araneae: Nephilidae).
Ceballos L. & Elgar, M. A. Mate male preference in Nephila edulis (Araneae: Nephilidae).


Ceballos, L., Hénaut, Y., Lachaud, J.P. & Rivas, G. (2011). Diferencias en las estrategias de depredación en Nephila clavipes (Araneae: Nephilidae) en relación a su actividad diurna y nocturna. Presented at the XX Congreso Nacional de Zoología. Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (November 2011).
Ceballos, L. & Elgar, M. A. (2007). Male colonization rate in a natural population of the orb-weaving spider Nephila clavipes (Araneae: Tetragnathidae) in Central Mexico. Presented at 17th International Congress of Arachnology. Sao Pedro, Brazil (August 2007).
Ceballos, L. & Elgar, M. A. (2006). Male mating behavior in Nephila species. Presented at the 1st Latin American Animal Behavior Society Meeting. Xico, Veracruz, Mexico (October 2006).
Ceballos, L. & Hénaut, Y. (2004). Nocturnal activity and prey selection in Eriophora edax (Araneae: Araneidae) in a coffee plantation in Soconusco, Chiapas, Mexico. Presented at the 16th International Congress of Arachnology. Ghent, Belgium (August 2004). Student Paper Award: 1st Prize. Oral Presentation in Ethology.