SICB Division of Ecology and Evolution (DEE)

DEE Researchers Database Entry

Robert Espinoza

Effects of evolutionary history, the physical environment, and interactions among species on physiology, ecology, and life history
Research in our lab seeks to understand how forces such as evolutionary history, the physical environment, and interactions among species affect an animal's physiology, ecology, and life history. In short, we study the "how" and the "why" of animal function. We typically study these relationships in amphibians and reptiles because they are well-suited for testing hypotheses that lie at the interface of evolution, ecology, physiology, and behavior. Recent studies have included a blend of field observations, measurements, and manipulations, laboratory experiments, and computer simulations. Often these studies draw from several levels of biological inquiry: tissues, individuals, populations, and communities. However, emphasis is typically placed on the biology of whole organisms and on inferences drawn from modern comparative analyses. I also conduct research with colleagues in Argentina on a large clade (~180 species) of austral South American lizards (Liolaemidae). This lineage offers an excellent model system for answering a variety of questions that are of general interest to comparative biologists. For more information visit: http://www.csun.edu/~ree77914/.