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Sylvia Torti

Adjunct Associate Professor of Biology & Dean and Professor Lecturer, Honors College


Office/Building: FD 619
Phone: 801-718-7276
Email: sylvia.torti@utah.edu

Research Statement


Sylvia Torti is a biologist and writer. Her graduate work in tropical biology on monodominant forests placed her in the midst of two civil wars�Mexico and Democratic Republic of Congo. Her first novel, The Scorpion�s Tail, set in Mexico during the Zapatista Rebellion of 1994, is a manifestation of her experiences during the Rebellion and her reflections on the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and humans and the natural world. Her stories and essays have been published in SEED: Science is Culture, Wasatch Journal, City Weekly, and River City and the edited volume, Are We Feeling Better Yet? She is a Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Biology.

Specific Interests
  • Plant Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
  • Literary Fiction and Non-fiction creative writing
  • Science Education & Interpretation

Selected Publications


  • 2009 Finalist. Cutthroat Short Story Contest. Bread and Stone. 2009 Plastic Trust (Creative Nonfiction Essay) in Are We Feeling Better Yet? Edited Volume. PenUltimate Press, St. Louis, MO.
  • 2008 The Space Around a Heart (Short Story) Wasatch Journal. April.
  • 2008 Torti, S.D. Long-term monitoring protocol for Primula maguirei, a federally listed endemic plant species: report from first year�s survey.
  • 2007 Why We Run (Essay) City Weekly. June 7, 2007.
  • 2006 Canopy Shyness (Short Story) SEED: Science is Culture Magazine. June.
  • 2005 The Scorpion�s Tail. (A Novel). Curbstone Press.
  • 2004 Goller, F., M. J. Mallinkrodt, S. D. Torti. Beak gape dynamics during song in the zebra finch. J. Neurobiology 59:289-303.
  • 2001 Torti, S.D., P.D. Coley and T.A. Kursar. Causes and consequences of monodominance in tropical lowland forests. American Naturalist 134:141-153.
  • 2000 Gross, N.D., S.D. Torti, P.D. Coley and D.H. Feener Jr. Tropical monodominance: is reduced herbivory important? Biotropica: 32:430-439.