“Bartleby in the Mountains; Or, What I Learned from Two Years with Obstinate French Lizards”

The Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis) is expected to be a winner under scenarios of changing environments—they thrive in human-altered landscapes, they are adept at colonizing new habitats, and they are predicted to expand under climate change scenarios. So what makes these cosmopolitan lizards so successful? In the French Pyrenees, we were specifically interested in how this species might climb in elevation as mountainous habitats warm. With this talk, I’ll describe the various experiments we conducted to characterize the physiological, behavioral, reproductive, and developmental responses of lizards to reduced oxygen availability at high elevations—all of this despite their utter lack of cooperation in the lab.

Eric Gangloff is an Assistant Professor of Zoology at Ohio Wesleyan University.