Kristopher B. Karsten

Kristopher B. Karsten, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
(805) 493-3385
ASCI 118


Dr. Karsten is an ecologist who integrates evolution, behavior, and physiology into his research, mostly using lizards as a model system. He uses field experiments and natural variation in traits to test hypotheses of character evolution and environmental adaptation in an integrative context. His goal continues to be the integration of behavior and physiology with evolutionary ecology. Sexual selection and life history evolution are two foci of strong interest.

Dr. Karsten's teaching interests are closely allied with his research interests. He is currently teaching Evolution, Ecology, Introduction to Ecology & Populations, Herpetology, Environmental Ecology, Scientific Literature (senior capstone), and courses in the Senior Honors Program.


Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, 2008, Zoology with specialization in Ecology, Evolution, & Behavior

M.S. Texas Christian University, 2000, Biology

B.S. Truman State University, 1997, Biology


Herpetology, Sexual Selection, Life History Evolution, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior


Stevens, T. K., A. M. Hale, K. B. Karsten, and V. J. Bennett.  In press.  An analysis of displacement from wind turbines in a wintering grassland bird community. Biodiversity and Conservation.

Hatchett, E. S., A. M. Hale, V. J. Bennett, and K. B. KarstenIn press.  Wind turbines do not negatively affect nest success in the Dickcissel Spiza americana. The Auk.

Rubenstahl, T. G., A. M. Hale, and K. B. Karsten. 2012. Nesting success of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers (Tyrannus forficatus) at a wind farm in northern Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 57: 189-194.

Williams, D. A., C. Leach, A. M. Hale, K. B. Karsten, E. Mujica, D. Barber, L. A. Linam, and N. Rains. 2012. Development of tetranucleotide microsatellite loci and a non-invasive DNA sampling method for Texas horned lizards (Phrynosoma cornutum). Conservation Genetic Resources 4:43-45.

 Andrews, R. M. and K. B. Karsten. 2010. Evolutionary innovations of squamate reproductive and developmental biology in the family Chamaeleonidae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 100:656-668.

Karsten, K. B., L. N. Andriamandimbiarisoa, S. F. Fox, and C. J. Raxworthy. 2009. Sexual selection on body size and secondary sexual characters in two closely related, sympatric chameleons in Madagascar. Behavioral Ecology 20:1079-1088.

Karsten, K. B., L. N. Andriamandimbiarisoa, S. F. Fox, and C. J. Raxworthy. 2009. Population densities and conservation assessments for three species of chameleons in the Toliara region of south-western Madagascar. Amphibia-Reptilia 30:341-350.

Karsten, K. B., L. N. Andriamandimbiarisoa, S. F. Fox, and C. J. Raxworthy. 2009. Social behavior of two species of chameleons in Madagascar: insights into sexual selection. Herpetologica 65:54-69.

Karsten, K. B., G. W. Ferguson, M. F. Holick, and T. C. Chen. 2009. Panther chameleons, Furcifer pardalis, behaviorally regulate optimal exposure to UV depending on dietary vitamin D status. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 82:218-225.

Karsten, K. B., L. N. Andriamandimbiarisoa, S. F. Fox, and C. J. Raxworthy. 2008. A unique life history among tetrapods: an annual chameleon living mostly as an egg. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105:8980-8984.

Karsten, K. B. and L. N. Andriamandimbiarisoa. 2008Furcifer labordi (Labord's chameleon) reproduction.  Herpetological Review 39:224.

Ferguson, G. W., W. H. Gehrmann, K. B. Karsten, A. J. Landwer, E. N. Carman, T. C. Chen, and M.F. Holick.  2005.  Ultraviolet Exposure and Vitamin D Synthesis in a sun-dwelling and a shade-dwelling species of Anolis: are there adaptations for lower UVB and dietary vitamin D3 availability in the shade?  Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 78:193-200.

Karsten, K. B. and G. W. Ferguson.  2004.  Outdoor enclosure design and technique for studying three-dimensional movement patterns of arboreal lizards.  Herpetological Review 35:144-146.

Ferguson, G. W., W. H. Gehrmann, K. B. Karsten, S. M. Hammack, M. McRae, T. C. Chen, N. P. Lung, and M. F. Holick.  2003.  Do panther chameleons bask to regulate endogenous vitamin D3 production?  Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 17(1):52-59.