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Keynote Speaker

Dale DeNardo holding Gila Monster .jpeg

Dr. Dale F. DeNardo, DVM, PhD, is an environmental physiologist in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. He received a bachelor's degree in Zoology (1984) and a doctorate of veterinary medicine (1988) from the University of California, Davis.  He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994. His research focuses on the interrelationship between the organism and its environment, examining how environmental conditions influence physiology and behavior and, reciprocally, how an organism’s state influences its use of the environment. He is interested in both energy and hydric states, with a focus on the latter because of the reduced scientific attention it has received. His work takes advantage of the exceptional opportunities that squamates living in dry environments provide, often using rattlesnakes, pythons, and the Gila monster as study systems to understand the physiological and behavioral mechanisms used to deal with resource limitations. Such information enhances the effectiveness in predicting impacts of anticipated climate change. Gila monsters have been a major subject of his work. He was initially motivated to study Gila monsters by the abundance of stories and opinions but lack of actual data regarding this species. With time, he has discovered that Gila monsters serve as a great study organism for understanding interactions between temperature, energy, water, and activity in xeric species.

Title: Gila monsters in the desert – 20+ years disproving the maladaptation dogma

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