Welcome to Ted Garland's Lab at UC Riverside!

Theodore Garland, Jr.

Distinguished Professor of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology (EEOB)

Office:  2366 Spieth Hall

Phone:  (951) 827-3524

E-mail:  tgarland@ucr.edu

Degree:  Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1985

Profile in Google Scholar Citations


High Runner Mouse Website

Lab Wiki (members only)

UCR Center for Cannabinoid Research

GenBioPAC: Genetic and Biological factors that regulate Physical Activity Consortium


NEW!!!  343.  Clark, C. J., J. R. Hutchinson, and T. Garland, Jr. 2023. The Inverse-Krogh Principle: all organisms are worthy of study. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 96:1–16.    [Drive PDF filehttps://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/721620 

NEW!!!  336.  McNamara, M. P., M. D. Cadney, A. A. Castro, D. A. Hillis, K. M. Kallini, J. C. Macbeth, M. P. Schmill, N. E. Schwartz, A. Hsiao, and T. Garland, Jr. 2022. Oral antibiotics reduce voluntary exercise behavior in athletic mice. Behavioural Processes 199:104650.  [Drive PDF file] [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2022.104650] 

NEW!!!  333.  Garland, T., Jr., C. J. Downs, and A. R. Ives. 2022. Invited Perspective: Trade-offs (and constraints) in organismal biology. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 95:82-112.   [Drive PDF file]  [https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/717897]

NEWish!!!  331.  Galván, I., T. S. Schwartz, and T. Garland, Jr. 2021. Evolutionary physiology at +30: has the promise been fulfilled? BioEssays 2021:2100167.   [Drive PDF file] [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bies.202100167]

NEW!!!  Garland, Jr., T. 2022. Born to Run: Experimental Evolution of Exercise Behavior and Physiology in a Vertebrate Model Organism. In preparation. Riverside, California.  [Draft of Chapter 1]

Research Overview:

      Most of the research in my laboratory involves the evolution of complex traits.  Through empirical, theoretical, and methodological studies, we are also helping to develop the field of evolutionary physiology (Links: e.g., see Annual Review of Physiology [1994] 56:579-621 [PDF file]).

      Physiology is the study of how organisms work.  Evolution is the study of how organisms have changed (genetically) across generations.  Thus, evolutionary physiology is the study of how and why the way organisms work has changed over time.  For example, does the way an organism work constrain the way it may evolve?  Answers to such questions require a deep understanding of both proximate and ultimate mechanisms, including phenotypic plasticity and early-life effects.  Accordingly, my graduate students come through the Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology Graduate Program in the Department of Biology, as well as the Neuroscience Graduate Program, Genetics, Genomics & Bioinformatics Graduate Program, and the Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences.   I also participate in the Evolutionary Biology Joint-Doctoral Program with San Diego State University.   I serve as UCR co-Associate Director of NERE, the Network for Experimental Research on Evolution.  As physiology cannot properly be understood in isolation from genetics, morphology, biochemistry, and behavior, my general approach is integrative and hence crosses traditional boundaries between disciplines.

      Our laboratory is equipped to make a variety of whole-animal physiological and behavioral measurements.  We have concentrated on activity metabolism because many natural behaviors (e.g., escaping from predators, foraging) depend crucially on capacities for locomotion.  Moreover, physical activity is crucial for human health and well-being.  I have worked primarily on lizards, snakes, and small mammals, but I recognize the value of both "model" and "non-model" systems and am always amenable to work with other organisms.  Although most of our efforts involve exercise physiology and locomotor behavior, graduate students have worked on a variety of other projects, including:  the evolution of reproductive timing in seals; behavioral/physiological ecology and conservation biology of desert tortoises; reproductive and conservation biology of lizards on a Spanish island; development of a monitoring program for endangered species of small mammals.  In addition, we have collaborated with scientists from many countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, and The United Kingdom.

News & Announcements:

New Website on the High Runner Mice!

February 2023 - Over at PBZ, we organized all of the Focused Collections we've done over the years.  Lots of cool topics, such as trade-offs, conservation  physiology, evolution of endothermy, individual variation, and ecoimmunology.

November 2022 - Ted was named as an Associate Editor of Behavior Genetics!

August 2022 - William Lampman joins the lab as a new M.S. student in EEOB

April 2022 - Lucas Pineiro joins the lab as a new Ph.D. student in GGB

August 2021 - Haley Cabrera joins the lab as a new Ph.D. student in EEOB

July 2021 - Natalie Holt and I have received a new 4-year NSF grant titled "Trade-offs, limits to adaptation, and multiple solutions: rules elucidated by selective breeding for high activity levels"

July 2014 - I became Editor in Chief of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.  Read my Editorial describing changes that we implemented at the journal.  I signed on for another 5-year term in 2019.

Links & Resources:

Old Lab Homepage

IDEA, the Institute for the Development of Educational Applications

YouTube Videos on the High Runner Mice

Lab Wiki (members only)

Lab Wiki OLD VERSION (members only)

All Publications and PDF files

Publications on the Mouse Selection Experiment

Evolutionary Physiology Links

Experimental Evolution Links

Table of Contents for:

Garland, T., Jr., and M. R. Rose, eds. 2009. Experimental evolution: concepts, methods, and applications of selection experiments. University of California Press, Berkeley, California. [here's the entire book as a PDF file]

Caveats About Undergraduate Research

How to Structure and Name Data Files

JoeFest: a Symposium in Honor of Joe Felsenstein's career,  22 June 2017 in Portland

Slides from My Talk: "Zen and the Art of Phylogenetically Independent Contrasts"

Hueyfest: a Symposium in Honor of Ray Huey's contributions to Physiological Ecology, 4 Oct. 2013 in Seattle

Slides from My Talk, with help from Steve Adolph : "What We Learned from Ray Huey: What We Learned from Ray Huey: Squamates, Stones, Squamates, Stones, Science, and Style"

Ted's Instagram Page


Video of Mice Running on Wheel (Girard et al. 2001) [.mov file that downloads automatically]

Video (1 hour 8 min): Dr. Garland Public Lecture on "Born to Run: Evolution of Hyperactivity in Mice" 29 Oct. 2009 (1 h 8 min)

Video (1 min 23 sec): Dr. Garland discussing "How to run far: Multiple solutions and sex-specific responses to selective breeding ..." PDF file

Video (7 min 50 sec): Dr. Garland discussing the High Runner mice in a short video

Education & Outreach:

Inquiry-Based Middle School Lesson Plan -- "Born to Run: Artificial Selection Lab"

PDF version on my homepage (latest, with live links to all other files)

Nature or Nurture? Heritability in the Classroom  Lesson Plan (college or advanced high school)

Simulating Random Genetic Drift (college or high school)

I am featured in FAIL LAB Episode One: Evolution, part of an educational video series funded through the Discovery Digital Network and intended to target teenagers.


PDAP: Phenotypic Diversity Analysis Programs  (software to perform phylogenetically based statistical analyses)

PDTREE module in Mesquite  (JAVA-based software to perform phylogenetically based statistical analyses) (Documentation as Microsoft Word file)

PHYSIG  (MatLab programs to perform phylogenetically based statistical analyses)

PHYLOGR  (R language code to perform phylogenetically based statistical analyses)

Photos by Ted Garland:

The Thorny Devil (Moloch horridus) in Australia [fullsize image]

Mouse on running wheel as used in the selection experiment [fullsize image]

Lizard (Lacerta agilis) in France on treadmill for endurance test [fullsize image].

Some Publications Since the Last Millenium:

Selected Teaching: