Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Sunshine A. Van Bael

Assistant Professor - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Contact Info

Department Affiliation
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

  • B.A., University of Chicago, Biology, 1996
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Animal Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 2003
Academic Experience
  • Associate Scientist, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 2009
  • Adjunct Faculty, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, 2010
  • Assistant Professor, Tulane University, 2012-

Research & Teaching Specializations: Community ecology;, vertebrate ecology, microbial ecology, plant-animal-fungal interactions, multi-trophic interactions, tropical agriculture, biodiversity, Brazil

Related Experience
  • The Burk-Kleinpeter Inc. Professor in Science and Engineering, Tulane University, 2016
  • Research Associate, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 2015
  • Professor, Field Courses, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, 2004-2012
  • National Science Foundation, “Research Experience for Undergraduates Supplement” S. Van Bael, 2012
  • Arizona State University – Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) Collaborative Research “Drivers of Microbial Community Structure and Function in Tropical Soils” F. Garcia-Pichel, E.Herre, B. Turner, S. Van Bael, 2011
  • Smithsonian Restricted Endowment Program, “Mechanisms of fungal-mediated protection in tropical plants” S. Van Bael, C. Estrada, W. Wcislo, 2011
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), “Conflicts among members of interacting symbioses: How do symbiotic fungi influence plant defense against leaf-cutting ants?” S. Van Bael, W. Wcislo, S. Rehner, 2010
  • Panama’s Secretary of Science and Technology, “National Investigator,” S. Van Bael, 2010
  • Spanish
Overseas Experience
  • Australia
  • Thailand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • South Africa
Selected Publications
  • 2017. “Fungal diversity in galls of baldcypress trees.” With Washburn, G. Fungal Ecology 29: 85-89.
  • 2016. “Selective elimination of microfungi in leaf-cutting ant gardens.” With Mighell, K. Fungal Ecology 24:15-20.
  • 2016. “Red coloration in young tropical leaves associated with reduced fungal pathogen damage.” With Tellez, P. H. Biotropica, 48(2)150-153.
  • 2015. “An endophyte-rich diet increases ant predation on a specialist herbivorous insect.” With Hammer, T. J. Ecological Entomology, 40: 316-321.
  • 2013. “Bird communities in forested and human modified landscapes of Central Panama: a baseline survey for a native species reforestation treatment.” With R. Zambrano and J. E. Hall. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: EBIO-6110: Tropical Ecology

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in Last 5 Years: 2

Full CV or Website
Curriculum Vitae