Chi–Yun Kuo

PhD Candidate

B.S., National Taiwan University, 2003
M.S., National Taiwan University, 2006

Advisor: Duncan J. Irschick
Dissertation/thesis title: A tale of lost tails: a cost-benefit analysis of the variation in an extreme antipredator trait

Research Interests

I have a broad interest in evolutionary ecology, especially along the line of how ecology and evolution interact to prompt biological adaptation. At the interface of ecology and evolution, I am also interested in how whole-organism performance plays a role in determining individual fitness. I have done several projects here at UMass: the effects of external loads on jump performance and kinematics in green anole lizards, how losing the tail might change the behavior in a Puerto Rican anole, and individual variation in the ability to recover from locomotor instability following tail loss in green anoles. For my PhD dissertation, I use tail autotomy in lizards as a system to understand factors that might affect the expression of a complex and costly antipredator trait in both laboratory and natural environments. Specifically, my dissertation consists of the following three components:

(1) Functional morphology of tail vertebrae in the process of tail autotomy
(2) The roles of resource availability and personality of individuals in determining the ease of tail autotomy
(3) The correlation between predation intensity and the facility of tail autotomy among allopatric populations


Gillis GB, C-Y Kuo, Irschick DJ. In press. The impact of tail loss on stability during jumping in green anoles (Anolis carolinensis). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology

C-Y Kuo, Gillis GB, Irschick DJ. 2012. Take this broken tail and learn to jump: the ability to recover from reduced in-air stability in tailless green anole lizards (Anolis carolinensis [Squamata: Dactyloidae]). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107: 583-592

DJ Irschick, C-Y Kuo. 2012. Functional traits of species and individuals. In Encyclopedia of Theoretical Ecology. Eds. A. Hastings and L. Gross. University of California Press

C-Y Kuo, Gillis GB, Irschick DJ. 2011. Loading effect on jump performance in green anole lizards Anolis carolinensis. Journal of Experimental Biology 214: 2073-2079

C-Y Kuo, Lin YK, Lin Y-S. 2009. Sexual size and shape dimorphism in an Agamid lizard, Japalura swinhonis (Squamata: Lacertilia: Agamidae). Zoological Studies 48(3): 351-361.

C-Y Kuo, Lin Y-S, Lin YK. 2007. Resource use and morphology of two sympatric Japalura lizards (Iguania: Agamidae). Journal of Herpetology 41(4): 713-723.