Dr. Mike Toliver

Dr. Mike Toliver

Professor of Biology

Office: Sanders 301
Phone: (309)467-6446
Email: miketol@eureka.edu
Website: http://ww1.eureka.edu/emp/toliver/index.html


Ph.D., Entomology, evolution, ecology, University of Illinois, 1979

M.S., Entomology, University of Illinois, 1977

B.S., Biology, University of New Mexico, 1973

Research Interests

Individual variation in behavior, mimicry, sexual selection, evolution, immatures of butterflies, biogeography of New Mexico. My research most recently has focused on sexual selection in Hackberry Butterflies, and individual variation in behavior of the Olympia Marble Butterfly. I contributed most of the butterfly chapters to Fred Stehr’s Immature Insects, and was the main author of a book on the distribution of New Mexican butterflies. I would classify myself as a natural historian, and my wife and I built a web site cataloging the natural history of the Eureka Lake area.

Teaching Interests

I teach the majors course for students interested in biology (Principles of Biology I and II) and two courses in evolution. One evolution course is aimed at non-science majors (Evolution for Everyone) and the other is a capstone course in biology for majors (Organic Evolution). I also teach animal behavior and zoology. In the past, i taught Ecology and Botany and I still have a strong interest in those subjects.

I also teach western civilization and culture and special topics in leadership.

Professional Activity

I am currently the Secretary of the Lepidopterists’ Society (a post I have held for about 5 years now). I was editor of the Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society before that, and also served as editor for papers on butterflies submitted to Zootaxa. I occasionally advise the City of Eureka on mosquito-related issues and conservation concerns.


I served in the United States Marine Corps in Viet Nam during the war. I was a radioman in the 3rd battalion, 1st marine regiment, 1st marine division and definitely earned my combat action ribbon.

I grew up in New Mexico and spent a great deal of time exploring that state for butterflies. I was the first person to develop a comprehensive list of the butterfly fauna of that state (in excess of 300 species).

I’m married and have a daughter. Both my wife and my daughter are alums of the College.