Kamelia [Fallahpour] Algiers

MS in Biology, 2004

B.A. Biology
California State University, Northridge

Present Address:

Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Ventura College
4667 Telegraph Road
Ventura, California 93003, USA
(805) 654-6400, extension 1083
Email: KAlgiers@vcccd.edu

Thesis Research

I am interested in the role of visual signals on mate selection in lizards. My research focused on female breeding coloration in leopard lizards (Gambelia wislizenii) and male responses to female coloration. Bright coloration develops in some female lizards during the breeding season and is associated an elevation of certain hormone levels and agonistic behavior. The role of this coloration has been studied in several species of iguanian lizards, but its function is generally poorly understood. I was interested in understanding the role of breeding coloration in female leopard lizards and identifying whether this coloration is a signal to males during the breeding season, or if the coloration has a different purpose. My experiments included monitoring male behavior towards females with and without breeding coloration, the use of hormone implantations to induce breeding coloration, and color manipulations in the lab and field to isolate the effects of color from those of behavior. I found that, unlike other iguanian lizards, female breeding coloration may not be a signal to males in leopard lizards. Apparently the relevance of this signal to males has been lost, perhaps because males are not territorial in this species, unlike most other crotaphytids. Moreover, the cost of the signal may be low for females because they generally seek shelter under shrubs, which conceals the coloration.

Download a copy of my full research proposal here [Fallahpour MS Thesis Proposal].

Awards and Honors

Research Funding

Professional Presentations

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Fallahpour, K. 2005. Gambelia wislizenii. Necrophilia. Herpetological Review 36:177-178.
  • Fallahpour, K. and R. E. Espinoza. Why do male leopard lizards (Gambelia wislizenii) ignore female breeding coloration? Copeia (revision in review)