Stephen C. Adolph

Stuart Mudd Professor of Biology

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

Education and Professional Experience

  • B.S., M.S., Stanford University (Biological Sciences)
  • PhD, 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
  • Visiting Professor, Otago University, New Zealand


  • Writ 1: Introduction to Academic Writing
  • Bio 23: Biology Laboratory
  • Bio 46: Introduction to Biology
  • Bio 108: Ecology & Environmental Biology
  • MCBI 118A: Introduction to Mathematical Biology
  • Math & Biology 119: Advanced Mathematical Biology

Research Interests

Our laboratory investigates the physiological, evolutionary, and behavioral ecology of lizards. Some current research topics include stochastic population dynamics of Xantusia lizards, optimal foraging in arboreal lizards, physiological ecology of lizard eggs, and the evolution of thermal performance curves. Past projects have investigated tuatara conservation, tarantula locomotion, lizard running performance, and lizard thermal biology.

Current Undergraduate Research Students

Sarah Halvorsen

Current Research Collaborations

  • Liz Orwin (Engineering, HMC)
  • Lars Schmitz (Keck Science Department, Claremont Colleges)

Publications (* = Undergraduate Author)

Bush EC, Adolph SC, Donaldson-Matasci MC, Hur JH, and Schulz D. Incorporating Programming, Modeling and Data Analysis into an Introductory Biology Course. Journal of College Science Teaching. 50(3). 2021.

Anderson, J., S. Kaplan-Stein, S. Adolph, and J. M. Peralta.  2020. Assessment of non-contact infrared thermometer measurement sites in birds. J. Appl. Anim. Welf. Sci. 23(2): 131-139.

Kitchin, J., B. I. P. Barratt, S. Jarvie, S. C. Adolph, and A. Cree. 2017. Diet of tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus) translocated to Ōrokonui Ecosanctuary in southern New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 44: 256-265.

Jarvie, S., M. R. Recio, S. C. Adolph, P. J. Seddon, and A. Cree. 2016. Resource selection by tuatara following translocation: a comparison of wild-caught and captive-reared juveniles. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 40: 334-341.

*Booster NA, *Su FY, Adolph SC & Ahn AN. 2015. Effect of temperature on limb kinematics in a sprinting tarantula , Aphonopelma hentzi: Potential limitations of hydraulic joint actuation. J. Exp. Biol. 218: 977-982.

Jarvie, S., A. M. Senior, S. C. Adolph, P.J. Seddon, and A. Cree. 2015. Captive rearing affects growth but not survival in translocated juvenile tuatara. Journal of Zoology 297: 184-193.

Waldrop, L. D. , S. C. Adolph, C. G. Diniz Behn, E. Braley, J. A. Drew, R. J. Full, L. J. Gross, J. A. Jungck, B. Kohler, J. C. Prairie, B. Shtylla and L. A. Miller. 2015. Using active learning to teach concepts and methods in quantitative biology. Integrative and Comparative Biology 55: 933–948.

Jarvie, S., Ramirez, A.E., Dolia, J., Adolph, S.C., Seddon, P.J. & Cree, A. 2014. Attaching radio‐transmitters does not affect mass, growth or dispersal of translocated juvenile tuatara (Sphenodon punctatus). Herpetol. Rev. 45: 417–421.

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 in Sceloporus 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)

Asbury, D. A.* and S. C. Adolph.  2007.  Behavioural plasticity in an ecological generalist: microhabitat use by western fence lizardsEvolutionary Ecology Research 9: 801-815.

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.

Adolph, S. C. and J. S. Hardin. 2007.  Estimating phenotypic correlations: correcting for bias due to intraindividual variabilityFunctional 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.

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 lizardsEcology 75: 776-790.

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 historiesAmerican Naturalist 142: 273-295.

Garland, T., Jr. and S. C. Adolph. 1991. Physiological differentiation of vertebrate populationsAnnual Review of Ecology and Systematics 22: 193-228.
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 lizardsEcology 71: 315-327.

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 and Anolis 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 on Spotify)

  • Conga and bongos