Gerardo Carfagno

Associate Professor, Biology

My research is in the areas of Behavioral and Physiological Ecology, with particular interest in reptile and amphibian biology and conservation.


  • PHD, University of Illinois Urbana
  • BA, Dartmouth College

Courses Taught

SCI 101 Science Orientation Seminar II

BIOL 111 & 112 General Biology I & II

BIOL 223 Ecology

BIOL 301 Comparative Chordate Anatomy

BIOL 320 Animal Physiology

BIOL 326 Animal Behavior

BIOL 406 Special Topics: Conservation Biology

BIOL 404 & 414 Colloquium I & II

  • Publications and Scholarly Activities


    DeGregorio BA, Blouin-Demers G, Carfagno GLF, Gibbons JW, Mullin S, Sperry JH, Willson JD, Wray K, Weatherhead PJ. Geographic variation in body size and sexual size dimorphism of North American Ratsnakes (Pantherophis spp. s.l.). Canadian Journal of Zoology 96:1196-1202, 2018.

    Thompson LB, Carfagno GLF, Andresen K, Sitton AJ, Bury T, Lee LL, Lerner KT, Fong PP. Differential uptake of gold nanoparticles by two species of tadpole, the wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) and the bullfrog (L. catesbeianus). Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 36:3351-3358, 2017.

    Fong PP, Thompson LB, Carfagno GLF, Sitton AJ. Long-term exposure to gold nanoparticles accelerates larval metamorphosis without affecting mass in wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) at environmentally relevant concentrations. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 35:2304-2310, 2016.

    Carfagno GLF, Fong PP. Growth inhibition of tadpoles exposed to sertraline in the presence of conspecifics. Journal of Herpetology 48:571-576, 2014.

    Weatherhead PJ, Sperry JH, Carfagno GLF, Blouin-Demers G. Latitudinal variation in thermal ecology of North American ratsnakes and its implications for the effect of climate warming on snakes. Journal of Thermal Biology 37:273-281, 2012.

    Carfagno GLF, Carithers JM, Mycoff LJ, Lehtinen RM. How the cricket frog lost its spot: the inducible defense hypothesis. Herpetologica 67:386-396, 2011.

    Lehtinen RM, Carfagno GLF. Habitat selection, the included niche, and coexistence in plant-specialist frogs from Madagascar. Biotropica 43:58-67, 2011.

    Weatherhead PJ, Carfagno GLF, Sperry JH, Brawn JD, Robinson SK. Linking snake behavior to nest predation in a Midwestern bird community. Ecological Applications 20:234-241, 2010.

    Sperry JH, Blouin-Demers G, Carfagno GLF, Weatherhead PJ. Latitudinal variation in seasonal activity and mortality in ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta). Ecology 91:1860-1866, 2010.

    Carfagno GLF, Weatherhead PJ. Ratsnake response to bottomland flooding: implications for avian nest predation. Acta Herpetologica 4:191-194, 2009.

    Carfagno GLF, Weatherhead PJ. Energetics and space use: intraspecific and interspecific comparisons of movements and home ranges of two Colubrid snakes. Journal of Animal Ecology 77:416-424, 2008.

    Carfagno GLF, Weatherhead PJ. Intraspecific and interspecific variation in use of forest-edge habitat by snakes. Canadian Journal of Zoology 84:1440-1452, 2006.

    Carfagno GLF, Heske EJ, Weatherhead PJ. Does mammalian prey abundance explain forest-edge use by snakes? Ecoscience 13:293-297, 2006.

    Conference Papers

    Is salamander prey availability affected by urbanized environments? Ecological Society of America, 2023. Portland, OR

    Behavioral and developmental effects of alternative pesticides on two tadpole species. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2019. Snowbird, UT

    Microhabitat use by an urban salamander population. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2018. Rochester, NY.

    Results of experimental gold nanoparticle exposure in wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) and bullfrog (L. catesbeianus) tadpoles. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2017. Austin, TX

    Habitat and spatial use by wood turtles and box turtles in a selectively logged forest. Ecological Society of America, 2016. Fort Lauderdale, FL

    Snakes in the fast lane: thermal strategies of racers (Coluber constrictor). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2011. Minneapolis, MN

    Predators, plasticity and costs of inducible defenses: how the cricket frog (Acris blanchardi) lost its spot. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2010. Providence, RI

    Latitudinal variation in behavioral thermoregulation by ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta). Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2008. Montreal, QC

    Energy requirements and home range size: a test with two snake species. Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists & Herpetologists, 2007. St. Louis, MO

    Use of forest edges by ratsnakes and racers in southern Illinois: thermal ecology or prey availability? Wildlife Society, 2005. Madison, WI

    Comparative thermal ecology and habitat use of ratsnakes and racers in southern Illinois. Snake Ecology Group, 2004. Makanda, IL