Peter Zani, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles, UWSP Museum of Natural HistoryOffice:
Ph.D. Biology, Comparative Functional Morphology of Lizard Claws. University of Oregon. (1999)
M.S. Zoology, Comparative Functional Morphology of Lizard Locomotion. University of Oklahoma. (1995)
B.A. Zoology, Turtle Overwintering Physiology. Miami University (1991)
Bio 160 - Introduction to Animal Biology
Bio 311/511 - Principles of Evolution
Bio 376/576 - Herpetology
Bio 490 - Seminar:Climate Change Biology
- Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB). Life Member
- Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE).
- Ecological Society of America (ESA).
- Sigma Xi
- Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR).
- American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (ASIH).
- Herpetologists' League (HL).
grew up in eastern Ohio catching frogs, toads, salamanders, and
turtles. I used to keep turtles during the summer as pets and was
fascinated with herptiles of all kinds. I went to college knowing I
wanted to do research on reptiles and have essentially done that for the
past 25 years of my life. In grad school I spent time as a research
assistant for a pair of professors who were inventorying the reptiles
and amphibians of the Amazon and so traveled with them to Brazil,
Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Since them I've become more interested in the
temperate zone and understanding how animals cope with extremely
seasonal environments, especially winter. My research tends to focus on
the implications of climate limitations and how a changing climate
might alter those limitations for individuals, populations, and species.
My approach combines field work, mostly on side-blotched lizards in the
high desert of eastern Oregon, semi-controlled outdoor mesocosm
experiments of enclosed cohorts of lizards, and controlled-environment
laboratory experiments here at UWSP. Thus, I am attempting to integrate
what happens mechanistically at the physiological level to what happens
in nature. As such students in my lab come at problems from the point of
view of organismal physiology, ecology, evolution, and behavior.
Publications from Ongoing Research (* = undergraduate author)
Michels-Boyce, M.*, and P. A. Zani. 2015. Lack of supercooling evolution related to winter severity in a lizard. Journal of Thermal Biology 53: 72-79.
Bula, P.A.*, L.K. Wright*, and P. A. Zani. 2014. Geographic variation in hind-limb morphology in relation to predation: no evidence for an evolutionary basis. Evolutionary Ecology Research 16: 663-687.
Zani, P.A., J.L. Tillman*, and K.M. Scoular*. 2013. Geographic variation of movement and display behavior of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) related to predation environment. Journal of Herpetology 47: 85-92.
Zani, P.A., J. Irwin, M.E. Rollyson*, J.L. Counihan*, S. Healas*, E.
Lloyd*, L. Kojanis*, B. Fried, & J. Sherma. 2012. Experimental
investigation into the causes of overwintering mortality in ectotherms
with discussion of implications for changing climates. Journal of
Experimental Biology 215: 3126-3134.
D.N.* & P.A. Zani. 2012. The effects of nighttime temperature on
ovarian cycle and egg incubation of side-blotched lizards, Uta stansburiana: implications for changing climates. Journal of Experimental Biology 215: 1117-1127.
K.M.*, W. Caffry*, J.L. Tillman*, E.S. Finan*, S.K. Schwartz*, B.
Sinervo, & P.A. Zani. 2011. Multi-year home-range ecology of common
side-blotched lizards in eastern Oregon with additional analysis of
geographic variation in home-range size. Herpetological Monographs 25:
P.A. & M.E. Rollyson*. 2011. The effects of climate modes on
growing-season length and timing of reproduction in the Pacific
Northwest as revealed by biophysical modeling of lizards. American
Midland Naturalist 165:372-388.
P.A., T.D. Jones*, R.A. Neuhaus*, & J.E. Milgrom*. 2009. Effects of
refuge distance on escape behavior of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana). Canadian Journal of Zoology 87:407-414.
Zani, P.A. 2008. Climate-change trade-offs in the side-blotched lizard (Uta stansburiana): effects of growing-season length and mild temperature on winter survival. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 81:797-809.
P.A., R.A. Neuhaus*, T.D. Jones*, & J.E. Milgrom*. 2008. Effects of
reproductive burden on endurance performance in side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana). Journal of Herpetology 42:76-81. Featured in “Outside JEB”, Journal of Experimental Biology 211:iv.
P.A. 2005. Life-history strategies near the limits of persistence:
winter survivorship and spring reproduction in the side-blotched lizard,
Uta stansburiana, in eastern Oregon. Journal of Herpetology 39:166-169.
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