Project Description

About Dr. Susannah French

Dr. Susannah French
College of Science
Department of Biology

Susannah French is an assistant professor of biology at Utah State University. Dr. French received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 2002 and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in 2006. She was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Indiana University before she joined the Biology faculty at Utah State University in 2009. Dr. French’s group is widely published in a variety of journals. Her research group currently includes five Ph.D. students and an army of undergraduates who are invaluable to her work. Dr. French has received funding from the National Science Foundation and National Geographic, including the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development ‘CAREER’ Award.

Town and Country Reptiles: How Animals Respond to a Changing Environment

A little lizard can say a lot about the environmental health of the world. Dr. Susannah French conducts studies of reptiles in southern Utah, as well as the Galapagos Islands, to better understand how animals interact with their environments. Disturbances in an animal’s environment, including changes caused by humans, affects how it collects and uses limited energy resources to respond to stress, reproduce, and fight disease. In the case of the side-blotched lizard and other reptiles studied by Dr. French, those effects are not well understood. By using a variety of methods to track, monitor, and understand these animals across their lifespans, she is working to answer these questions, which will help paint a broader picture of how species adapt to environmental changes.