Eastern Michigan University
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Dr. Cara Shillington


Cara Shillington 401Q Mark Jefferson Science Complex




B.S. Washington State University 1992, 1993

M.S., Washington State University, 1996

Ph.D., Oklahoma State University, 2001

Interests and Expertise

I take an integrative, field-based, evolutionary approach to studying the physiological ecology of ectothermic organisms, especially arachnids and arthropods (but also including reptiles and amphibians). My research concerns a variety of interactions between animals and their environments, including ecological energetics, behavioral ecology, thermoregulatory physiology and thermal ecology. My research at this time centers on potentially adaptive whole-animal functions as expressed in the context of natural habitats including intra- and intersexual variation in energetics of tarantulas, and thermal preferences of a variety of organisms. Other areas of interest include studies of animal behavior, particularly sexual strategies and mating behavior, as well as feeding behaviors and preferences.


Philip, B. & Shillington, C. 2007. A novel approach for hair removal to examine the cuticle of arthropods. Microscopy Today: 15: 22-25.

Shillington, C. & McEwen, B. 2006. Activity of juvenile tarantulas in the maternal burrow. Journal of Arachnology 34: 261-265.

Shillington, C. 2005. Inter-sexual dimorphism in resting metabolic rate the Texas tarantula Aphonopelma anax. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology 142A: 439-445.

Shillington, C. 2005. Inter-sexual differences in resting metabolic rates in the Texas tarantula, Aphonopelma anax . Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, 142A: 439-445.

Shillington, C. 2002. Thermal ecology of male tarantulas (Aphonopelma anax) during the mating season. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 80: 251-259.

Shillington, C. and Peterson, C.C. Energy metabolism of male and female tarantulas (Aphonopelma anax) during locomotion. Journal of Experimental Biology 205: 2909-2914.

Shillington, C and Verrell, P. 1997. Sexual strategies of a North American 'tarantula' Aphonopelma sp. (Araneae: Theraphosidae). Ethology 103, 588-598.

Shillington, C. and Verrell, P. 1996. Multiple mating by females is not dependent on body size in the salamander Desmognathus ochrophaeus. Amphibia-Reptilia 17: 33-38.

Courses Taught

BIO 105 Introductory Biology for Non-majors

BIO 120 Introductory Biology II

BIO 472 Parasitology

BIO 480 Natural History of Invertebrates

BIO 488 Biology of Arachnids

BIO 572 Parasitology

BIO 580 Natural History of Invertebrates

BIO 588 Biology of Arachnids

BIO 679 Teaching Undergraduate Biology


Shillington Lab Website

The Biology Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold