Dr. Scott Glaberman's Research Area

Research Interests

  • Physiology
  • Evolution
  • Ecotoxicology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology

I use evolutionary approaches to study how the physiology of organisms is shaped by their environment. This involves studying how and why species look and function the way they do as well as how they will respond to future changes in the environment. I apply knowledge from many disciplines to examine physiology across many biological levels, from genes to whole organisms to populations.

Below are the specific research topics that I currently work on:

Environmental Stress, Toxicity, and Disease: I am interested in understanding how environmental stressors such as chemicals may impact the ability of organisms to defend against infection either through direct toxicity to immune cells or through indirect effects to other physiological systems that may alter the immune response. I am also interested in examining how immunotoxicity at the individual level impacts whole populations or species.  

Evolutionary Approaches to Toxicology: Ecotoxicologists often ignore the relationship between species when evaluating sensitivity to chemicals. Yet there is evidence that, like many other traits, toxicity is highly dependent on species relationships. I seek to further describe the phylogenetic basis for sensitivity and how this can be used to uncover key mechanisms of toxicity and their evolutionary underpinnings.

Physiological Evolution: Part of my research also involves studying the basic physiological traits of species and how they have been shaped by evolution. Much of this work is carried out in the Galapagos Islands, which are ideal for studying how ecological and evolutionary factors influence the physiology of organisms. I seek to understand how the ecological conditions of the islands, including climate, invasive species, and island size and isolation affect levels of parasitism and functional diversity in Galapagos reptiles, including giant tortoises and marine iguanas. 

Recent Publications

  • Chiari Y, Glaberman S, Tarroso P, Caccone A, Claude J. Environmental and genetic influences on size and shape variation in Galapagos marine iguanas. Oecologia, in press.

  • Poulakakis N, Edwards DL, Chiari Y, Garrick RC, Benavides E, Russello MA, Watkins-Colwell GJ, Glaberman S, Tapia W, Gibbs JP, Cayot LJ, Caccone A. 2015. Description of a new Galapagos Giant Tortoise Species (Chelonoidis; Testudines: Testudinidae) from Cerro Fatal on Santa Cruz Island. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0138779.

  • Chiari Y, Glaberman S, Serén N, Carretero MA, Capellini I. 2015. Phylogenetic signal in amphibian sensitivity to copper sulfate relative to experimental temperature. Ecological Applications 25: 596-602.

  • Seren N, Glaberman S, Carretero MA, Chiari Y. 2014. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of the metallothionein gene family in vertebrates. Journal of Molecular Evolution 78: 217-233.