Stephen C. Adolph

Stuart Mudd Professor of Biology

(On sabbatical during 2012-3 academic year)

F.W. Olin Science Center, Room 2381
301 Platt Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

Education & Professional Experience

  • B.S., M.S., Stanford University (Biological Sciences)
  • Ph.D., University of Washington (Zoology)
  • Lecturer, University of Texas, Austin
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Middlebury College
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Visiting Researcher, University of Colorado (Boulder)
  • Visiting Researcher, University of California, Riverside
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Cornell University


  • Bio 52: Introduction to Biology
  • Bio 108: Ecology & Environmental Biology
  • Bio 153: Biostatistics
  • Bio 185: Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology (Seminar)
  • Math & Bio 118: Introduction to Mathematical and Computational Biology

Research Interests

Our laboratory investigates the physiological, evolutionary, and behavioral ecology of lizards. We study the effects of temperature on growth, locomotion, and other traits, and how these traits influence life histories and population biology. Recent research topics have included phenotypic plasticity in behavior and morphology in Sceloporus lizards, gene flow inSceloporus lizards,  stochastic population dynamics of Xantusia lizards, the evolution of scale size and body size among Sceloporus species, and statistical methods for analyzing locomotor performance.

Current undergraduate research students

Frances Su, Allison Schubauer, Christian Mason

Current research collaborations

  • Liz Orwin and Nancy Lape (Engineering, HMC)
  • Johanna Hardin (Mathematics, Pomona College), Austen Head (Statistics, Stanford)
  • Ted Garland, Chris Oufiero, Gabe Gartner (UC Riverside)
  • Alison Davis (UC Berkeley)
  • Jonathan Richmond (USGS, San Diego)

Publications (* = undergraduate author)

Head*, A. W., J. S. Hardin and S. C. Adolph. 2012.  Methods for estimating peak physiological performance and correlating performance measures. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 19: 127-137.

Oufiero, C. E., G. E. A. Gartner, S. C. Adolph and T. Garland Jr. 2011.Latitudinal and climatic variation in body size and dorsal scale counts inSceloporus lizards: a phylogenetic perspective.  Evolution 65: 3590-3607.

de Pillis, L. and S. C. Adolph. 2010. Mathematical biology at an undergraduate liberal arts college.  CBE–Life Sciences Education 9: 417-421.

Buckley, C. R., D. J. Irschick and S. C. Adolph. 2010. The contributions of evolutionary divergence and phenotypic plasticity to geographic variation in the Western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis.  Biological Journal of the Linnaean Society 99: 84-98.

Youssef*, M., S. C. Adolph and J. Q. Richmond.  2008.  Evolutionarily conserved thermal biology across continents:  the North American lizardPlestiodon gilberti (Scincidae) compared to Asian Plestiodon Journal of Thermal Biology 33: 308-312.

Adolph, S. C. and T. Pickering*.  2008.  Estimating maximum performance: effects of intraindividual variation.  Journal of Experimental Biology 211:1336-1343.

Adolph, S. C.  2007.  Is a basketball free-throw sequence nonrandom? A group exercise for undergraduate statistics students.  Journal of Statistics Education 15(3) (electronic journal)

Asbury, D. A.* and S. C. Adolph.  2007.  Behavioural plasticity in an ecological generalist: microhabitat use by western fence lizards. Evolutionary Ecology Research 9: 801-815. (link via EER site)

Buckley, C. R., M. Jackson*, M. Youssef*, D. J. Irschick and S. C. Adolph. 2007.  Testing the persistence of phenotypic plasticity after incubation in the Western fence lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis.  Evolutionary Ecology Research 9: 169-183. (link via EER site)

Adolph, S. C. and J. S. Hardin. 2007.  Estimating phenotypic correlations: correcting for bias due to intraindividual variability. Functional Ecology 21: 178-184.
Hancock, T. V., S. C. Adolph and T. T. Gleeson. 2001. Effect of activity duration on recovery and metabolic costs in the desert iguana (Dipsosaurusdorsalis). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 130: 67-79. [abstract]

Adolph, S. C. and W. P. Porter. 1996. Growth, seasonality and lizard life histories: age and size at maturity. Oikos 77: 267-278.

Padilla, D. K., S. C. Adolph, K. L. Cottingham and D. W. Schneider. 1996. Predicting the consequences of dreissenid mussels on a pelagic food web.Ecological Modelling 85: 129-144.

Padilla, D. K. and S. C. Adolph. 1996. Plastic inducible morphologies are not always adaptive: the importance of time delays in a stochastic environment.Evolutionary Ecology 10: 105-117.

Wang, J. P.* and S. C. Adolph. 1995. Thermoregulatory consequences of transmitter implant surgery in the lizard Sceloporus occidentalis. Journal of Herpetology 29: 421-425.

Adolph, S. C. and M. A. Geber. 1995. Mate-guarding, mating success and body size in the tropical millipede Nyssodesmus python (Peters) (Polydesmida: Platyrhacidae). Southwestern Naturalist 40: 56-61.
Sinervo, B. and S. C. Adolph. 1994. Growth plasticity and thermal opportunity in Sceloporus lizards. Ecology 75: 776-790. [article]

Garland, T., Jr. and S. C. Adolph. 1994. Why not to do two-species comparative studies: limitations on inferring adaptation. Physiological Zoology 67: 797-828.

Adolph, S. C. and W. P. Porter. 1993. Temperature, activity and lizard life histories. American Naturalist 142: 273-295. [article]

Garland, T., Jr. and S. C. Adolph. 1991. Physiological differentiation of vertebrate populations. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 22: 193-228. [article]
Sinervo, B., R. Hedges* and S. C. Adolph. 1991. Decreased sprint speed as a cost of reproduction in the lizard Sceloporus occidentalis: variation among populations. Journal of Experimental Biology 155: 323-336.

Adolph, S. C. 1990. Influence of behavioral thermoregulation on microhabitat use by two Sceloporus lizards. Ecology 71: 315-327. [article]

Adolph, S. C. 1990. Perch height selection by juvenile Sceloporus lizards: interspecific differences and relationship to habitat use. Journal of Herpetology 24: 69-75.

Sinervo, B. and S. C. Adolph. 1989. Thermal sensitivity of growth rate in hatchling Sceloporus lizards: physiological, behavioral and genetic aspects.Oecologia 78: 411-419.

Adolph, S. C. and J. Roughgarden. 1983. Foraging by passerine birds andAnolis lizards on St. Eustatius (Neth. Antilles): implications for interclass competition and predation. Oecologia 56: 313-317.

Little herpy notes

Fogarty, S. P.* and S. C. Adolph.  2005.  Natural history notes: Gambelia wislizenii (Long-nosed leopard lizard).  Arboreal behavior.  Herpetological Review 36(4): 449.
Perkins, M.*, S. C. Adolph, S. Granite*, and W. Hein*.  1997.  Natural history notes: Xantusia vigilis (Desert Night Lizard) and Sceloporus magister (Desert Spiny Lizard).  Predation and diet.  Herpetological Review 28: 89.


Reptile Palace Orchestra, Early Reptile (Boat Records, Madison, WI; out of print, but available via iTunes)

  • various percussion