Christopher Oufiero, Ph.D.




Contact Info

Science Complex, Room 3101G


B.S., Biology
Montclair State University

M.S., Life Sciences
Indiana State University

Ph.D., Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology
University of California, Riverside

Areas of Expertise

Evolutionary and ecological physiology, functional morphology, phylogenetic comparative methods, sexual selection


My research takes an integrative and comparative approach to examine how whole-organismal performance traits evolve, incorporating studies from intraspecific to macroevolutionary comparisons, various statistical and quantitative approaches, and a diversity of organisms. The goal of my research program is to understand how complex, integrative phenotypes evolve by examining detailed physiological systems across species in a phylogenetic framework. How do morphology, ecology and phylogenetic relationships affect the evolution of whole-organismal performance? Current projects in the lab include:

  • The evolution of swimming performance among fish in relation to morphology, ecology, urbanization (with Dr. Nelson), and swimming mode.
  • Feeding performance, functional morphology, and natural history of praying mantises.
  • Interspecific patterns of cutaneous waters loss in reptiles and amphibians.
  • Performance and navigation of nocturnal gliders (in collaboration with Dr. Beck)

Selected Recent Publications

(G = TU grad student, U = TU undergraduate):

Oufiero, C. E. 2020. Evolutionary diversification in the raptorial forelegs of Mantodea: Relations to body size and depth perception. Journal of Morphology, 281(4-5), 513-522.

Oufiero, C.E. 2019. The Organismal Form and Function lab-course: a new C.U.R.E. for a lack of authentic research experiences in organismal biology. Integrative Organismal Biology. 1: obz021.

WhitlowG, K.R., Santini, F. and C.E. Oufiero. 2019. Convergent evolution of locomotor morphology but not performance in gymnotiform swimmers. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32: 76-88.

Oufiero, C.E. and M.J. Van Sant. 2018. Variation and repeatability of cutaneous water loss and skin resistance in relation to temperature and diel variation in the lizard Sceloporus consobrinus. Journal of Comparative Physiology B. 188: 671-681. 

Oufiero, C.E., T. NguyenU, A. SragnerU and A. EllisU. 2016. Patterns of variation in feeding strike kinematics of juvenile ghost praying mantis (Phyllocrania paradoxa): are components of the strike stereotypic? The Journal of Experimental Biology. 219: 2733-2742.

Oufiero, C.E. and K.R. WhitlowG. The evolution of phenotypic plasticity in fish swimming. Current Zoology. 62: 475-488.

Oufiero, C.E. and G.E.A. Gartner. 2014. The effect of parity on morphological evolution among phrynosomatid lizards. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 27: 2559-2567.

Oufiero, C.E., R. Meredith, K. Jugo, P.Tran, M.A. Chappell, M. Springer, D.N. Reznick and T. Garland, Jr. 2014. The evolution of the sexually selected sword in Xiphophorus does not compromise aerobic locomotor performance. Evolution 68: 1806-1823.

Courses Taught

BIOL 221: Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, lecture and lab

BIOL 222: Human Anatomy and Physiology 2, lecture and lab

BIOL 325: Animal Physiology

BIOL 472: Organismal Form & Function Lab (see: for more information)

BIOL 607: Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology (grad course)