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C.M. Gienger

Associate Professor/PI

Ph.D. - University of Nevada, Reno (2009)
M.S. - University of Nevada, Reno (2003)

Contact InformationGila monster combat (two males)

P.O. Box 4718
Clarksville, TN 37044
Office: SSC A135
Phone: 931-221-7076


Research Areas

Ecology and physiology of amphibians and reptiles

Current Projects

Physiological ecology of helodermatid lizards. Using techniques including biophysical modeling, isotopic tracers, and radio telemetry to investigate the consequences of how helodermatid lizards (Gila monsters and beaded lizards) interact with their environment. 

Digestion and physiological responses to feeding in crocodilians. Investigations into metabolism, energetic costs of digestion, nutrient absorption, and digestive enzyme activity in crocodilians. 

Recent Publications

Kuhn, K.M., C.M. Gienger, and C.R. Tracy. 2016. Small mammals of Pyramid Lake and Anaho Island (Nevada). Southwestern Naturalist 61(1):40-44.

Tracy, C.R., T.J. McWhorter, C.M. Gienger, J.M. Starck, P. Medley, S.C. Manolis, G.J.W. Webb, and K.A. Christian. 2015. Alligators and crocodiles have high paracellular absorption of nutrients, but differ in digestive morphology and physiology. Integrative and Comparative Biology 55(6):986-1004.

Dochtermann, N.A., C.M. Gienger, and S. Zappettini. 2014. Born to win? Maybe, but only against inferior competition. Animal Behaviour 96:e1-e3.

Brien, M.L., C.M. Gienger, G.J.W. Webb, K. McGuiness, and K.A. Christian. 2014. Out of sight or in too deep: Effect of visual barriers and water depth on agonistic behavior and growth in hatchling saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus). Applied Animal Behaviour Science 158:102-110.

Gienger, C.M., C.R. Tracy, and K.A. Nagy. 2014. Life in the lizard slow-lane: Gila monsters have low rates of energy use and water flux. Copeia 2014(2):279-287.

Keehn, J.E., N.C. Nieto, C.R. Tracy, C.M. Gienger, and C.R. Feldman. 2013. Evolution on a desert island: body size divergence between the reptiles of Nevada's Anaho Island and the mainland around Pyramid Lake. Journal of Zoology. 291:269-278.

Seymour, R.S., C.M. Gienger, M.L. Brien, C.R. Tracy, S.C. Manolis, G.J.W. Webb, and K.A. Christian. 2013. Scaling of standard metabolic rate in estuarine crocodiles Crocodylus porosus. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 183:491-500.

Gienger, C.M., C.R. Tracy, and L.C. Zimmerman. 2013. Thermal responses to feeding in a secretive and specialized predator (Gila monster, Heloderma suspectum). Journal of Thermal Biology 38(3):143-147. (.pdf)

Brien, M.L., G.J.W. Webb, C.M. Gienger, J.W. Lang, and K.A. Christian. 2012. Thermal preferences of hatchling saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in response to time of day, social aggregation and feeding. Journal of Thermal Biology 37(8):625-630.

Domínguez-Vega, H., O. Monroy-Vilchis, C.J. Balderas-Valdivia, C.M. Gienger and D. Ariano-Sánchez. 2012. Predicting the potential distribution of the beaded lizard and identification of priority areas for conservation. Journal for Nature Conservation 20(4):247-253.

Gienger, C.M., C.R. Tracy, M.L. Brien, S.C. Manolis, G.J.W. Webb, R.S. Seymour, and K.A. Christian. 2012. Energetic costs of digestion in Australian Crocodiles. Australian Journal of Zoology 59(6): 416-421.

Dochtermann, N.A. and C.M. Gienger. 2012. Individual variability in life-history traits drives population size stability. Current Zoology 58(2): 358-362.

Gienger, C.M. and D.D. Beck. 2011 Northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) use thermal and structural cues to choose overwintering hibernacula. Canadian Journal of Zoology 89:1084-1090.

Tracy, C. R., K. A. Christian, L. J. McArthur, and C. M. Gienger. 2011. Removing the rubbish: frogs eliminate foreign objects from the body cavity through the bladder. Biology Letters 7:465-467.