Phenotypes in Context: Predicting Behavior in a Changing World

Sceloporus lizard

Animals use a rich combination of sights, sounds and smells to detect shifts in their environments. When climate changes, urbanization or pollution change their habitats, animals often react behaviorally by shifting where and how they eat, sleep or interact with each other.

In this talk, Emilia Martins, professor in the School of Life Sciences, ASU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will discuss the interactions among sensory systems at behavioral, physiological and evolutionary levels and how those interactions can shape the behavioral response to environmental change. Along the way, she will summarize her lab’s research on the evolution of communication signals in Sceloporus lizards and the impact of environment on zebrafish social behavior, and make predictions about how the behavior of these animals are likely to change in the face of modern environmental challenges.

Emilia Martins joined the School of Life Sciences at ASU’s Tempe campus in 2017 after serving as a rotating program director at the National Science Foundation, professor of biology at Indiana University, and associate professor of biology at the University of Oregon.

Martin’s lab pioneered the use of phylogenetic comparative methods to infer the evolutionary mechanisms underlying phenotypic evolution, and has also contributed substantively to our understanding of how different sensory systems intertwine to produce and to perceive animal communicative signals, primarily in lizards and fish, to form fibril aggregates.


Faculty and practitioners discuss their current research and field projects in the Science and Mathematics Colloquium Series, held throughout the academic year at ASU’s Polytechnic campus. All seminars are free and open to the public.

Faculty of Science and Mathematics, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
Professor Steven Saul
Student Union, Cooley Ballroom B
Polytechnic campus

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