Amanda Chunco

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
McMichael Science Building 003D
2015 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-6275

Brief Biography

For more information about my research and teaching, please see my website at:


2009          Ph.D.   University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Biology
2000          B.S.     University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Zoology, minor Anthropology

Courses Taught

Introduction to Environmental Science (ENS 111) 

Wildlife Ecology and Management (ENS 175)

Strategies in Environmental Inquiry (ENS 200)

Diversity of Life (ENS 215)

Wildlife Ecology (ENS 330)


Biologists and naturalists since Darwin have noticed that patterns in a species’ distribution can reveal important information about the ecology and evolution of that species. Since early in human history, people have had a strong influence on species distributions. This is more of an issue today than at any point in history, as anthropogenic climate change, land use conversions, and species invasions are reshaping biological communities across the globe. My work uses field surveys, experiments, and computer modeling to understand the ecological and evolutionary forces underlying species distributions, with the end goal of aiding conservation efforts to preserve rare and endangered species.

I encourage undergraduate students interested in research in wildlife ecology, conservation biology, or biogeography to contact me. I am happy to advise students who wish to pursue field work, GIS modeling, or a combination of both!



Chunco, A. J. 2014. Hybridization in a warmer world. Ecology and Evolution 4: 2019-2031.

Chunco, A. J., Phimmachak, S., Sivongxay, N., Stuart, B. L. 2013. Predicting environmental suitability for a rare and threatened species (Lao Newt, Laotriton laoensis) using validated species distribution models. PLoS One: e59853.

Chunco, A. J.Jobe, T., and Pfenning, K. S. 2012. Why do species co-occur? A test of alternative hypotheses describing abiotic differences in sympatry versus allopatry using spadefoot toads. PlosOne 7:e32748.

Angert, A. L., Crozier, L., Rissler, L., Gilman, S., Tewksbury, J., and Chunco, A. J. 2011. Species’ traits weakly predict recent range shifts. Ecology Letters 14: 677-689.

Chunco, A. J., McKinnon, J., Servedio, M. R. 2007. Microhabitat variation and sexual selection can maintain male color polymorphisms. Evolution 61: 2504-2515.

Pfennig, K. S., Chunco, A. J., and Reynolds, A.C.  2007.  Ecological selection and hybrid fitness: hybrids succeed on parental resources. Evol. Ecol. Res. 9:341-354.

Burkhead, N. M., Jelks, H. L., Chunco, A., Walsh, S.J., Freeman, B.J., Skelton, C.E. and Freeman, M. 2001.  Progress report of benthic fishes in the Upper Coosa River System, North Georgia.  USGS Interim Report. 41 pp.

Burgess, G. H., Chunco, A., Nadik, W. and Johnson, S. 2000. Pelagic Elasmobranch Bibliography. International Pelagic Shark Workshop, Pacific Grove, California. 38 pp.

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