Travis Robbins



Office:  Mueller Laboratory, room 508

Phone: 814.867.2252


Personal Website


Curriculum Vitae







Research Interests


My research interests involve the relative influence of genetic and environmental sources of phenotypic variation on evolutionary trajectories. For traits to persist they must not only be heritable, which involves some genetic component, but also selected (or at least not selected against). Environmental sources of phenotypic variation may increase the opportunity for selection on necessarily non-heritable traits, and therefore help maintain genetic variation, at least for short periods of time.



Robbins, T.R., D.P. Baker. In prep. Proto-religion as an extended phenotype: an ecological model of religion as an emergent property of Homo sapiens. Target: Nature


Robbins, T.R., A. Schrey, C. Richards, T. Langkilde. In prep. Fire ant invasion status accounts for variation in DNA methylation of lizard populations. Target: Proceedings of the Royal Society B


Graham, S.P., N.A. Freidenfelds, C.J. Thawley, T.R. Robbins, T. Langkilde. In prep. The stress response to invasive species: corticosterone levels in a native lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) exposed to invasive ants (Solenopsis invicta) in three experimental contexts. Target: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology


Robbins, T.R., H.R. Mushinsky, and E.D. McCoy. In prep.  Direction of latitudinal gradient in body size is dependent on geographic scale: A new take on Bergmann’s cline in Sceloporus lizards. Target: Evolutionary Ecology


Du, W., T.R. Robbins, D.A. Warner, T. Langkilde, and R. Shine. In review. Latitudinal variation in reproductive effort is pronounced only in the first clutches of the season in the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). Integrative Zoology


Robbins, T.R., L.E. Straub, S.A. Karl, A.W. Schrey, K.D. Gorospe,  E.D. McCoy, and H.R. Mushinsky. In review. Aggression, mate choice, and secondary succession: The rise and fall of a hybrid zone. Journal of Heredity


Robbins, T.R. and T. Langkilde. In press. A scientific approach to determining best practices for housing reptiles. Comfortable Quarters for Laboratory Animals, V. Reinhardt (ed), Animal Welfare Institute, Washington DC.


Newman, J.C., T.R. Robbins, S.P. Graham. Submitted. Sceloporus undulatus (Eastern Fence Lizard). Envenomation. Herpetological Review


Robbins, T. R., N.A. Freidenfelds, T. Langkilde. 2013. Native predator eats invasive toxic prey: evidence for increased incidence of consumption rather than aversion-learning. Biological Invasions 15 (2): 407-415


Newman, J.C., T.R. Robbins, S.P. Graham. 2012. Aspidoscelis sexlineata (Six-Lined Racerunner). Geographic distribution. Herpetological Review 43(6): 444


Robbins T.R. and Langkilde T. 2012. The consequences of lifetime and evolutionary exposure to toxic prey: changes in avoidance behaviour through ontogeny.  Journal of Evolutionary Biology 25: 1937 - 1946


Freidenfelds N. A., Robbins T.R. and Langkilde T. 2012. Evading invaders: the effectiveness of a behavioral response acquired through lifetime exposure. Behavioral Ecology 23: 659-664


Du, W., Warner, D.A., Langkilde, T., Robbins, T.R. and Shine, R. 2012. The roles of pre-hatching and post-hatching growth rates in generating a latitudinal cline of adult body size in the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 106: 202–209


Du, W., D.A. Warner, T. Langkilde, T.R. Robbins, and R. Shine. 2010. The mechanistic basis of geographic variation in rates of embryonic development within a widespread lizard species.  The American Naturalist 176: 522-528.


Robbins, T.R. and D. A. Warner. 2010. Fluctuations in the incubation moisture environment affect growth but not survival of hatchling lizards. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100: 89-102.


Robbins, T.R., J.N. Pruitt, L.E. Straub, E.D. McCoy, and H.R. Mushinsky. 2010. Transgressive aggression in Sceloporus hybrids confers fitness through advantages in male agonistic encounters. Journal of Animal Ecology 79: 137-147.


Nash, T.H., III, J. Biringer, T.R. Robbins, and R. Schramm. 1998. LichenesExsiccati, Distributed by Arizona State University [Lich. Exs. ASU]. Fasc. 11 (No. 251-275) and Fasc. 12 (No. 276-300). 15 June.


Robbins, T.R., D.G. Lancaster, J. Lancaster, and T.L. Burgess. 1996. Biosphere 2 Center Plant Field Guide.  Columbia University, Biosphere 2 Center, Oracle, AZ



The interaction of genetic and environmental sources of phenotypic variation ultimately helps maintain genetic variation by resulting in selectable traits occurring through multiple pathways and increasing opportunity for selection of heritable suites of traits through plasticity. An important aspect of these interactions is the variance itself, or the range in trait values. I research these mechanisms of change through a multidisciplinary approach, examining behavior, physiology, natural and sexual selection, and genetics.









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Arizona State University



University of South Florida