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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Resource Type
  • Doctoral Dissertation
Status
  • Public
Subject
Date Range
2011 2019


The elaborate signals of animals are often costly to produce and maintain, thus communicating reliable information about the quality of an individual to potential mates or competitors. The properties of the sensory systems that receive signals can drive the evolution of these signals and shape their form and function. However, relatively little is known about the ecological and physiological constraints that may influence the development and maintenance of sensory systems. In the house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) and many other bird species, carotenoid pigments are used to create colorful sexually selected displays, and their expression is limited by health and dietary …

Contributors
Toomey, Matthew B, Mcgraw, Kevin J, Deviche, Pierre, et al.
Created Date
2011

Like individual organisms, complex social groups are able to maintain predictable trajectories of growth, from initial colony foundation to mature reproductively capable units. They do so while simultaneously responding flexibly to variation in nutrient availability and intake. Leafcutter ant colonies function as tri-trophic systems, in which the ants harvest vegetation to grow a fungus that, in turn, serves as food for the colony. Fungal growth rates and colony worker production are interdependent, regulated by nutritional and behavioral feedbacks. Fungal growth and quality are directly affected by worker foraging decisions, while worker production is, in turn, dependent on the amount and …

Contributors
Clark, Rebecca M., Fewell, Jennifer H, Mueller, Ulrich, et al.
Created Date
2011

Conditions during development can shape the expression of traits at adulthood, a phenomenon called developmental plasticity. In this context, factors such as nutrition or health state during development can affect current and subsequent physiology, body size, brain structure, ornamentation, and behavior. However, many of the links between developmental and adult phenotype are poorly understood. I performed a series of experiments using a common molecular currency - carotenoid pigments - to track somatic and reproductive investments through development and into adulthood. Carotenoids are red, orange, or yellow pigments that: (a) animals must acquire from their diets, (b) can be physiologically beneficial, …

Contributors
Butler, Michael William, Mcgraw, Kevin J, Chang, Yung, et al.
Created Date
2012

Extremely thick cranial vaults have been noted as a diagnostic characteristic of Homo erectus since the first fossil of the species was identified, but potential mechanisms underlying this seemingly unique trait have not been rigorously investigated. Cranial vault thickness (CVT) is not a monolithic trait, and the responsiveness of its layers to environmental stimuli is unknown. Identifying factors that affect CVT would be exceedingly valuable in teasing apart potential contributors to thick vaults in the Pleistocene. Four hypotheses were tested using CT scans of skulls of more than 1100 human and non-human primates. Data on total frontal, parietal, and occipital …

Contributors
Copes, Lynn Erin, Kimbel, William H, Schwartz, Gary T, et al.
Created Date
2012

Land management practices such as domestic animal grazing can alter plant communities via changes in soil structure and chemistry, species composition, and plant nutrient content. These changes can affect the abundance and quality of plants consumed by insect herbivores with consequent changes in population dynamics. These population changes can translate to massive crop damage and pest control costs. My dissertation focused on Oedaleus asiaticus, a dominant Asian locust, and had three main objectives. First, I identified morphological, physiological, and behavioral characteristics of the migratory ("brown") and non-migratory ("green") phenotypes. I found that brown morphs had longer wings, larger thoraxes and …

Contributors
Cease, Arianne, Harrison, Jon, Elser, James, et al.
Created Date
2012

While exercising mammalian muscle increasingly relies on carbohydrates for fuel as aerobic exercise intensity rises above the moderate range, flying birds are extraordinary endurance athletes and fuel flight, a moderate-high intensity exercise, almost exclusively with lipid. In addition, Aves have long lifespans compared to weight-matched mammals. As skeletal muscle mitochondria account for the majority of oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise, the primary goal was to investigate differences in isolated muscle mitochondria between these species and to examine to what extent factors intrinsic to mitochondria may account for the behavior observed in the intact tissue and whole organism. First, maximal enzyme …

Contributors
Kuzmiak, Sarah, Willis, Wayne T, Mandarino, Lawrence, et al.
Created Date
2012

Parental care provides many benefits to offspring. One widely realized benefit is enhanced regulation of offspring's thermal environment. The developmental thermal environment during development can be optimized behaviorally through nest site selection and brooding, and it can be further enhanced by physiological heat production. In fact, enhancement of the developmental thermal environment has been proposed as the initial driving force for the evolution of endothermy in bird and mammals. I used pythons (Squamata: Pythonidae) to expand existing knowledge of behavioral and physiological parental tactics used to regulate offspring thermal environment. I first demonstrated that brooding behavior in the Children's python …

Contributors
Brashears, Jake Alexander, Denardo, Dale, Harrison, Jon, et al.
Created Date
2012

Broaden and build theory (BBT; Fredrickson, 1998; 2001) postulates that positive emotions expand the scope of one's attention and thought-action repertoires (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005). Within the boundaries of BBT, the undoing hypothesis (Fredrickson, 1998, Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998) argues that positive emotions themselves do not bring forth specific action tendencies or urges; therefore, they do not consequently require an increase in cardiovascular activity to carry out the urge. On the other hand, positive emotions have evolved to subdue the cardiovascular response previously initiated by negative emotions. This dissertation proposes that the real power of positive emotions might be to …

Contributors
Deiss Jr, Douglas Martin, Floyd, Kory, Mongeau, Paul, et al.
Created Date
2012

In social insect colonies, as with individual animals, the rates of biological processes scale with body size. The remarkable explanatory power of metabolic allometry in ecology and evolutionary biology derives from the great diversity of life exhibiting a nonlinear scaling pattern in which metabolic rates are not proportional to mass, but rather exhibit a hypometric relationship with body size. While one theory suggests that the supply of energy is a major physiological constraint, an alternative theory is that the demand for energy is regulated by behavior. The central hypothesis of this dissertation research is that increases in colony size reduce …

Contributors
Waters, James Stephen, Harrison, Jon F, Quinlan, Michael C., et al.
Created Date
2012

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of two novel intermittent exercise prescriptions on glucose regulation and ambulatory blood pressure. Methods: Ten subjects (5 men and 5 women, ages 31.5 ± 5.42 yr, height 170.38 ± 9.69 cm and weight 88.59 ± 18.91 kg) participated in this four-treatment crossover trial. All subjects participated in four trials, each taking place over three days. On the evening of the first day, subjects were fitted with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). On the second day, subjects were fitted with an ambulatory blood pressure monitor (ABP) and underwent one …

Contributors
Bhammar, Dharini Mukeshkumar, Gaesser, Glenn A, Shaibi, Gabriel, et al.
Created Date
2013