Irschick lab news (this module started in 2007)

April 2013: Duncan Irschick was awarded the College Outstanding Faculty Research Award by the University of Massachusetts!

January 2013: The invention of GeckskinTM named as a top five Science Breakthrough for 2012 by CNN

December 2012: Duncan Irschick gave a TED talk at the Sorbonne University in Paris on November 8, 2012. His talk can be viewed here

December 2012: GeckskinTM featured on the new UMASS Amherst video "Innovation and Impact"

February 2012: Duncan Irschick, Al Crosby and Walter Federle were awarded a $900,000 grant from the Human Frontiers Science Program to examine scaling of adhesion from insects to lizards

December 7, 2011: Duncan Irschick was honored as a Fullbright Specialist! This honor allows many other countries to invite Duncan to visit and teach techniques in functional morphology and behavioral ecology to researchers all over the world, all paid for by the Fullbright foundation!

April 22, 2011: Undergraduate Amy Halpern is now an HHMI Fellowship from the Department of Biology for the Summer of 2011! She will be working with Patty Brennan and Pablo Visconti on pathways of capcitation of duck sperm!

July 1, 2010: Duncan was recently nominated to the be the Executive Editor for Functional Ecology (a journal whose impact factor is now higher than Ecology!). He starts immediately. Send in those papers!

April 26, 2010: Graduate student Justin Henningsen was just receommned for a $15,000 NSF Doctoral Dissertation improvement grant! This funding was for a project entitled "How do a signal and whole-organism performance interact to determine reproductive success?" which examines how manipulation of a sexual signal in green anole lizards affects reproductive success. Way to go!

Nov. 10, 2009: Undergraduate Hannah Tosi was awarded a prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Inverstigator undergraduate fellowship for 2009-1010. Whoo hoo!

Sept 15, 2009: A symposium at the 2009 Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology on "Hormones as mediators of animal performance" (co-organized by former postdoc Jerry Husak, Duncan J. Irschick, and Ignacio Moore) is now in print! You can access this exciting collection here

July 7, 2009: Research by student Justin Henningsen was recently featured in the Aiken Standard on his research on bite force and dewlap size in anole lizards.

July 7, 2009: A talk by Duncan J. Irschick and Suellen Almeida on human hammering performance was picked up by the media, including articles in,, Science Daily, the Globe and Mail, and Scientific American, among others. Check out our media page for the articles.

February 28, 2009: Duncan J. Irschick and his collaborator Jeff Lockman at Tulane University were just awarded a one-year $291,589 grant (Katrina Supplement award) from the National Institutes of Health to study human performance, specifically how humans learn to hammer.  They will use kinetic and kinematic technology to understand how humans learn to hammer from early development to adulthood.

February 16, 2009: Our recent article in the Journal of Experimental Biology on how tail loss affects jumping in lizards has become a media darling! You can read all about it in thei article in Science Daily and The Toronto Star, among many others (and there are big rubmlings of major Cable coverage soon, more about that later!)

September 30, 2008: Turn on your TV, folks! The Discovery channel is running an ambitious series of programs on how researchers are unlocking some of the biggest mysteries in animal performance and robotics (see video preview here, click on the video link to the right ("sticky gecko"). One of the programs focues on gecko adhesion, and features research on Duncan Irschick. You can get the schedule here

September 29, 2008: The Research Channel came to our laboratory today to film Duncan Irschick for an upcoming film on Rapid evolution and global change. Stay tuned!

April 2, 2008: Ph.D. student Justin Henningsen was just awarded a prestigious NSF Pre-Doctoral Fellowship for 3 years. Justin will use these funds to fuel his research on sexual signals in green anole lizards and links to performance and reproductive success. Congratulations Justin!

March 24, 2008: Ph.D. student Philip Bergmann was awarded a prestigious Simpson postdoc at the University of Arizona, and will be starting September 1, 2008. Well done! Philip also received an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship from Canada, but declined this in favor of the Simpson fellowship.

March 14, 2008: In collaboration with a team from Belgium, we have published a paper showing a rare case of rapid macroevolution in lizards follwing a recent colonization. This is the first time that a macroevoluitonary trait (in this case the presence of a new gut structure) has evolved in human lifespans! Check out the paper that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences here

February 2008: Duncan J. Irschick and Jean-Francois Le Galliard have edited a special issue entitled "Natural and sexual selection on biomechanics: An integrative approach". Check out this collection on the website at Evolutionary Ecology Research

August 10, 2007: Check out a recently published paper and cover shot for the Journal Biological Invasions that examines the selective basis of plant chemistry in elk!

Bailey JK, Schweitzer JA, Rehill BJ, Irschick DJ, Whitham TG, Lindroth RL.  2007.  Rapid Shifts in the Chemical Composition of Aspen Forests: An Introduced Herbivore as an Agent of Natural Selection.  Biological Invasions (Cover).  9:715-722.

August 1, 2007: We got a new cover shot for the journal Physioloigcal and Biochemical Zoology. Check it out below! The paper accompoyning the cover shot appeared in the November/December issue.

June 11, 2007: A special issue for the journal Functional Ecology on "Sexual selection, physiology, and performance" has just been published.

This special issue was organized by D. J. Irschick, R. Van Damme, and A. Herrel. Click on this link to access the articles. Check out the cool cover shot below!!

June 10, 2007: Former Ph.D. student Shawn VIncent was awarded a postdoc working on lubber grasshoppers at Illinois State University.

June 2007: Former postdoc Anthony Herrel was awarded the extremely competitive Society for Experimental Biology President's Medal for 2007! Well-done Anthony!

May 2007: Check out two new papers published in the Irschick lab; The paper by Lailvaux and Irschick examines temperature effects on jumping in green anoles by examining the kinetics of movement. The paper by Miles et al is a meta-analysis of links among foraging mode and performance in lizards. Enjoy!

Lailvaux S, Irschick DJ.  2007.  Effects of temperature and sex on jump biomechanics and performance in the lizard Anolis carolinensis.  Functional Ecology.  21:534-543.

Miles DB, Losos JB, Irschick DJ.  2007.  Morphological and performance correlates of foraging mode in squamates.  In Lizard Ecology: The evolutionary consequences of foraging mode.  Eds. Steve Reilly, Lance McBrayer, and Don Miles.  P. 49-93.  Cambridge University Press. Boston.

March 2007: Ph.D. student Philip Bergmann was awarded a prestigious Presidents Fellowship! This fellowship will support Phillip during 2007 during his research on vertebral morphology and performance in lizards.

January 2007: Former Ph.D. student Simon Lailvaux was awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council fellowship to work with Rob Brooks at the University of Sydney in Australia. Good job Mate!

January 2007: In collaboration with Raoul Van Damme, Anthony Herrel, Duncan Irschick and Bieke Vanhooydonck, Katleen Huyghe got a cover shot for the journal Zoology. Check it out!

Huyghe K, Herrel A, Vanhooydonck B, Meyers JJ, Irschick DJ.  2007.  Microhabitat use, diet, and performance data on the Hispaniolan twig anole, Anolis sheplani: Pushing the boundaries of morphospace.  Zoology (Cover).  110:2-8