Areas of Study
Email Address
Taylor Science Center 2033

Ariel Kahrl earned her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2017. She then moved to Sweden for postdoctoral research at Stockholm University where she and her collaborators developed SpermTree, a repository of reproductive trait data spanning the animal tree of life.

Kahrl’s research focuses on understanding broad patterns of evolution across all animals, as well as examining the physiological mechanisms that underlie those patterns.

At Hamilton, she looks forward to developing a new research program centered around the evolution of reproductive physiology in frogs and salamanders. She hopes that her research in her lab can blend into her classroom, giving students active research experiences and teaching them valuable skills.

Recent Courses Taught

Vertebrate Physiology
Vertebrate Physiology Lab
Senior Thesis I


Edgar F. Shannon Award for “Best Graduating Doctoral Student” in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The Z Society, University of Virginia, 2017

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation, 2015

Select Publications

  • Kahrl, A.F., M.C. Kustra, A.M. Reedy, R. Bhave, H.A. Seears, D.A. Warner, and R.M. Cox. 2021. Selection on sperm count but not sperm morphology or velocity in a wild population of Anolis lizards. Cells. 10(9): 2369. 
  • Kahrl, A.F., R.R. Snook, J.L. Fitzpatrick. 2021. Fertilization mode drives sperm length evolution across the animal tree of life. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 5: 1153-1164.
  • McDiarmid, C, R. Li, A.F Kahrl, M. Rowe, S. Griffith. 2021. Sperm Sizer: a program to semi-automate he measurement of sperm length. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 75(5):1-8.
  • Martin, K.S.§, A.F. Kahrl§, B.M. Ivanov, M.A. Johnson. 2021. Use it and bruise it: copulation rates are associated with muscle inflammation across anole lizard species. Journal of Zoology. §=co-first authors 
  • Reuland, C., B.M Culbert, E.F. Isaksson, A.F. Kahrl, A. Devigili, J.L. Fitzpatrick. 2020. Male-male behavioral interactions drive social-dominance mediated differences in ejaculate traits. Behavioral Ecology. araa118. 
  • Friesen, C. R., A.F. Kahrl, M. Olsson. 2020. Sperm competition in reptiles. Philosophical Transactions B. 375(1813): 20200079. 
  • Ogden, H.J.P., R.A. de Boer, A. Devigili, C. Reuland, A.F. Kahrl, J.L. Fitzpatrick. 2020. Male mate choice for large gravid spots in a livebearing fish. Behavioral Ecology. arz156. 
  • Kustra, M.C.*, A.F. Kahrl, A.M. Reedy, D.A. Warner, R.M. Cox. 2019. Sperm morphology and count vary with fine-scale changes in local density in a wild lizard population. Oecologia. 191 (3): 555-564. Cover photo. 
  • Reuland, C., B.M. Culbert, A. Devigili, A.F. Kahrl, J.L. Fitzpatrick. 2019. Contrasting female mate preferences for red coloration in a fish. Current Zoology. zoz052. 
  • Rowley, A., L. Locatello, L., A.F. Kahrl, M. Rego, A. Boussard, E. Garza-Gisholt, R. M. Kempster, S. P. Collin, E. Giacomello, M. C. Follesa, C. Porcu, J. P. Evans, F. Hazin, F. Garcia-Gonzalez, T. Daly-Engel, C. Mazzoldi, J. L. Fitzpatrick. 2019. Sexual selection and the evolution of sperm morphology in sharks. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32(10): 1027-1035. 
  • Kahrl, A.F., M.A. Johnson, R.M. Cox. 2019. Rapid evolution of testis size relative to sperm morphology suggests that post-copulatory selection targets sperm number in Anolis lizards. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 32(4): 302-309. Cover photo. 
  • Kahrl, A.F., B.M. Ivanov, K.C. Wollenberg, M.A. Johnson. 2018. Ecomorphology within an ecomorph: Variation in morphology, ecology, and behavior within the Anolis cybotes species group. Herpetologica. 74 (1): 29-37. 
  • Kahrl, A.F., R.M. Cox. 2017. Consistent differences in sperm morphology and testis size between native and introduced populations of three Anolis lizard species. Journal of Herpetology. 51(4): 532-537. 
  • Ren, T., A.F. Kahrl, M. Wu, R.M. Cox. 2016. Does adaptive radiation of a host lineage promote ecological diversity of its bacterial communities? A test using gut microbiota of Anolis lizards. Molecular Ecology 25. (19): 4793-4804 

Professional Affiliations

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology
Society for the Study of Evolution
Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles
Herpetologists' League

Appointed to the Faculty


Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Virginia
B.A., Oberlin College


The diversity, plasticity, and evolution of sperm morphology in Anolis lizards

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