Professor of Biology
Office: 2312 Spieth Hall (Biology)
Office phone: 951-827-7709
Lab phone: 951-827-6418
Degree: Ph.D., Stanford University, 1977
My laboratory studies animal physiological ecology, with emphasis on
adaptations to extreme environmental conditions (particularly in desert, polar,
and montane habitats),
energetics and behavior of free-living animals, evolutionary physiology (particularly
of aerobic traits), and behavioral
ecology (particularly reproductive effort and signal costs). I use
techniques from mainstream physiology, but am interested in evolutionary
and ecological questions as well as organismal form and function per
se. My students and I participate in both the Evolutionary
Biology and the Physiology
graduate groups. In addition, I participate in the University of California
on Experimental Evolution (UCIRPEE) and its successor, the Network for Experimental Research on Evolution (
- Foraging behavior (abstract) and reproductive energetics (abstract) of Adélie penguins.
- Repeatability (individual consistency) of aerobic performance in ground squirrels and red junglefowl (abstract)
- Energetics of metamorphosis in holometabolous insects (such as sphinx moths)
- The energy metabolism of daily torpor in hummingbirds (abstract)
- Accommodation of changing oxygen demand by the ventilatory system in birds and mammals (abstract)
- Energy costs and signal honesty in avian vocal signals, such as courtship calling and begging by chicks (abstract)
Current and recent projects include:
- Physiological, behavioral, and ecological factors in altitude distribution limits of Andean birds (click here for an overview of this highly collaborative project)
- Limits to aerobic capacity in mammals and birds: phylogenetic effects and mechanistic underpinnings
- Behavior and costs of transport during voluntary locomotion in small mammals
- Evolutionary physiology (especially exercise performance) and physiological plasticity in altitude adaptation in deer mice (abstract 1, abstract 2, abstract 3, abstract 4, abstract 5, abstract 6) and other rodents ( abstract 7)
- Functional analyses of individual variation of aerobic performance in birds (abstract)
Some Representative Publications....
- Franco M, Contreras C, Cortez P, Chappell MA, Soto-Gamboa M, Nespolo RF (2012). Aerobic power, huddling and the efficiency of torpor in the South American marsupial, Dromiciops gliroides. Biology Open 1: 1178-1184.
- Chappell MA, Szafranska PA, Zub K, Konarzewski M (2012). The energy cost of voluntary running in weasels, Mustela nivalis. Journal of Experimental Biology 216: 578-576.
- Dlugosz EM, Harris BN, Saltzman W, Chappell MA (2012). Glucocorticoids, aerobic physiology, and locomotor behavior in California mice. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 85: 671-683.
- Jankowski JE, Londono GA, Robinson SK, Chappell MA (2012). Exploring the role of physiology and biotic interactions in determining elevational ranges of tropical animals. Ecography 36: 1-12.
- Chappell MA, Savard JF, Siani J, Coleman SW, Keagy J, Borgia G (2011). Aerobic capacity in wild satin bowerbirds: repeatability and effects of age, sex, and condition. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 3186-3196.
- Chappell MA, Bailey NW, Redak RA, Antolin M, Zuk M (2009). Metabolic similarity despite striking behavioral divergence: Aerobic performance in low- and high-density forms of the Mormon cricket. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 82: 405-418.
- Chappell MA, Dlugosz EM (2009). Aerobic capacity and running performance across a 1.6 km altitude difference in two sciurid rodents. Journal of Experimental Biology 212: 610-619.
- Battam, H, Chappell MA, Buttemer WA (2008). The effect of food temperature on post-prandial metabolism in albatrosses. Journal of Experimental Biology 211: 1093-1101.
- Wiersma P, Chappell MA, Williams JB (2007). Cold- and exercise-induced peak metabolic rates in tropical birds. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA)104: 20866-20871.
- Chappell MA, Garland T, Rezende EL, Gomes FR (2004). Voluntary running in deer mice: speed, distance, energy costs, and temperature effects. Journal of Experimental Biology 207: 3839-3854.
- Chappell MA, Bech C, Buttemer WA (1999) The relationship of central and peripheral organ masses to aerobic performance variation in House Sparrows. Journal of Experimental Biology 202:2269-2279.
- Bachman GC, Chappell MA (1998) The energetic cost of begging behaviour in nestling House Wrens. Animal Behaviour 55:1607-1618.
- Chappell MA, Zuk M, Johnsen TS, Kwan TH (1997) Mate choice and aerobic capacity in red junglefowl. Behaviour 134:511-529.
- Chappell MA, Janes DN, Shoemaker VH, Bucher TL, Maloney SK (1993). Reproductive effort in Adélie Penguins. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 33:173-182.
(click here for a complete publication list)
- Biology 5B, Introduction to Organismal Biology
- Biology 160, Animal Behavior
|I also write data acquisition and analysis software for Macintosh computers|
|In my spare time I indulge a serious addiction to nature photography.|
Adult wandering albatross (Diomedia exulans or D. gibsoni*) captured for metabolic studies off Wollongong on the south-east coast of Australia. The birds were banded and released unharmed within 2-3 days; they were remarkably placid in captivity. Wanderers have the longest wingspan of any living bird (more than 3 meters and sometimes as much as 3.6 meters). Some individuals in this population were first banded in the late 1950s and continue to return to the Wollongong area every winter. A few are known to be over 50 years old -- the very white male in the photo at the top of this page is one of these.
I'm the one with the hat; the other nonflying terrestrial vertebrate in the photo is Harry Battam from the University of Wollongong, a world authority on albatross biology.
* the taxonomy of albatrosses is currently undergoing revision