Faculty/Staff Directory

Michael Lombardo

Photo of Michael Lombardo



Office Address
3390I Kindschi Hall of Science

Office Phone

Areas of Expertise
Zoology, Animal Behavior, Avian Biology, Evolution, Human Evolution

Professional Societies

American Ornithological Society - Fellow
Association of Field Ornithologists
International Society for Behavioral Ecology
Michigan Society of Fellows
Society for the Study of Evolution

Courses Taught at GVSU

BIO 222 Natural History of the Vertebrates
BIO 325 Human Sexuality
BIO 342 Ornithology
BIO 349 The Darwinian Revolution
BIO 452 Human Evolution
BIO 495 Evolutionary Biology

Research Interests

Current Research Interests:

1.            The evolution of sports
               The evolution of throwing by humans
               Digit ratio and the athletic behavior and performance of women student-athletes at GVSU

2.            The evolution of social behavior, especially cooperation, in non-human animals and humans.

3.            The behavioral ecology of birds, especially Tree Swallows.

Professor Lombardo is commonly assisted in his research by GVSU undergraduate students and welcomes any student interested in conducting research to contact him.


Ph.D. - Rutgers University. Ecology, 1984
M.S. - Rutgers University. Zoology, 1979
B.S. - The Ohio State University. Zoology, 1976

Select Publications

Lombardo, M. P. & R. O. Deaner. In press. Born to throw: the ecological causes that shaped the evolution of throwing in humans.  Quarterly Review of Biology.

Lombardo, M. P. & R. O. Deaner. 2016. Anatomical adaptations for fighting. Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1422-1.

Deaner, R. O., S. M. Balish, & M. P. Lombardo. 2016. Sex differences in sports interest and motivation: an evolutionary perspective. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences 10:73-97. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ebs0000049.

Lombardo, M. P., P. Drake*, A. Olson*, S. Otieno, L. Spadacene*, & P. A. Thorpe. 2015. Feather-chewing lice and Tree Swallow biology. Auk: Ornithological Advances 132:551-561. http://www.americanornithologypubs.org/doi/pdf/10.1642/AUK-14-252.1

Lombardo, M. P. & S. Emiah*. 2014.  Scientometric analyses of studies on the role of innate variation in athletic performance. SpringerPlus 3:307 http://www.springerplus.com/content/3/1/307.

Lombardo, M. P. & R. O. Deaner. 2014. You can’t teach speed: sprinters falsify the deliberate practice model of expertise. PeerJ 2 e445: http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.445.

Winkler, D. W., K. M. Ringelman, P. O. Dunn, L. Whittingham, D. J. T. Hussell, R. G. Clark, R. D. Dawson, L. S. Johnson, A. Rose, S. H. Austin, W. D. Robinson, M. P. Lombardo, P. A. Thorpe, D. Shutler, R. J. Robertson, M. Stager, M. Leonard, A. G. Horn, J. Dickinson, V. Ferretti, V. Massoni, F. Bulit, J. C. Reboreda, M. Liljesthröm, M. Quiroga, E., Rakhimberdiev, & D. R. Ardia. 2014. Latitudinal variation in clutch size-lay date regression in Tachycineta swallows: effects of food supply or demography? Ecography 37:670-678. http://dx.doi.org/10:1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00458.x.

Shutler, D., D. J. T. Hussell, D. R. Norris, D. W. Winkler, R. J. Robertson, F. Bonier, W. B. Rendell, M. Bélisle, R. G. Clark, R. D. Dawson, N. T. Wheelwright, M. P. Lombardo, P. A. Thorpe, M. A. Truan, R. Walsh, M. L. Leonard, A. G. Horn, C. M. Vleck, D. Vleck, A. P. Rose, L. A. Whittingham, P. O. Dunn, K. A Hobson, & M. Stanback. 2012.  Spatiotemporal patterns in nest box occupancy by Tree Swallows across North America.  Avian Conservation & Ecology 7:3-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ACE-00517-070103

Lombardo, M. P. 2012.  On the evolution of sport.  Evolutionary Psychology 10:1-28 http://www.epjournal.net/

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