Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Biological Sciences


Biological Sciences

Major Professor

Simon p Lailvaux & Nicola M Anthony

Second Advisor

Jerome J Howard


Anolis carolinensis has been a model organism for ecology and evolutionary biology since the seventies, yet there are still understudied aspects of their ecology. A five-year study has provided microsatellite genotypes to be used in building a pedigree and assess relatedness, enabling us to evaluate the spatial distribution of an urban population of A. carolinensis. Results indicate no correlation between a male’s size and the distance others keep from it; however, males belonging in the heavyweight morph are dictating the spatial distribution in this population. In addition, juvenile dispersal of male offspring and partial philopatry of female offspring are key in this dynamic, where a single heavyweight male will actively defend a small area that contains multiple females, some of which are be daughters, and multiple unrelated males, most likely sneaker males.


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